When my daughter is in pain I sometimes feel really helpless.
I keep really wanting to DO SOMETHING to change things.
I wish I’d kept a list of things I’ve bought to try to help.
In this anxious state I forget the powerful inexpensive tools I do have.
The most significant of these tools is listening and letting my daughter feel heard.
I believe that listening has the power to ease suffering.
People pay a lot of money to strangers just for the relief of really being heard.
It doesn’t alter the physical pain but it does make the sufferer feel less alone.
It makes a big difference to how kids feel when they know someone really gets how they feel. They feel accepted as they are.
We often think we are listening but most of us don’t really know how to listen in a way that is healing.
Reflective listening is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced with care.
It means that for a time we set aside our own agendas and let hearing the other person be the most important thing.
We feed back to the person what we have heard. Maybe the exact words, maybe a careful summary.
Good listening happens so rarely that when it does happen it has a big impact on the other.
Within the family it is big powerful medicine.
It is also hard work. Listening well takes concentration and practice. I can’t do it very well when I am tired.
Sometimes I don’t listen well for ages – but when I do I see how it has the power to transform experiences and bring people I love together.
The two books on listening that have helped me most are listed here.
Both of these books have been around for ages and it is very likely you can hunt them down at your library.
I’ve also listed them as a click on link to Amazon Books if you want to check them out right now.