We all have rough weeks. There had been a series of events which had unfolded various levels of grief, anger, exasperation, anxiety, and depression within me a few months ago. In times like these, one of the “tools” in my Self-Care Toolkit is to find supportive persons who will Listen.
I put the word Listen in “caps” because that is a skill that I find certain people lack. To truly Listen is to be engaged empathically with someone without trying to fix, change, or invalidate them. To Listen is to JUST BE with them in their pain. To Listen is to support their emotions because those emotions exist. There is nothing wrong with having emotions; in fact emotions are normal! To Listen is to say, “I’m so sorry you are having a rough week” instead of “You need to get over it”. To Listen is to say, “I’m here for you, is there anything you need right now?” instead of “Don’t feel the way you are feeling.”
Some people have a tough time seeing others go through certain emotions. Typically you see this with the emotions that are termed “negative”, like sadness, anger, etc…however I’m of the mindset that there are no such things as “negative” emotions. Humans have put this term on certain emotions because it is harder to feel them. It’s much easier to feel happy than sad. It is much nicer to feel excitement than anxiety. However there is Wisdom in all emotions and without feeling them, we miss out on this Wisdom. The Wisdom in my emotions during that rough time is that I love deeply, and I care very much about my clients and the work that I do. What is the Wisdom in your emotions?
It is ok to feel, because that is how we heal. I read a quote once that said “Emotions aren’t pretty, but they are beautiful.” How true that is. Who supports and validates you the way you need?
One of my favorite quotes is by Catherine de Hueck Doherty, and I think it sums up the skill of Listening: “With the gift of listening comes the gift of healing, because listening to your brothers and sisters until they have said the last word in their heart is healing and consoling. Someone has said that it is possible ‘to listen a person’s soul into existence.’ I like that.”