When Someone Deeply Listens To You

encounter2I have started a new course in Spiritual Direction called Encounter at the London Centre for Spirituality. I am hoping to share a bit more about the content of this course in future posts. For now, I would like to focus on one of the first subjects we looked into on the course, which was ‘listening’.

In our small groups, everyone was asked to talk on a specific subject for five minutes without being interrupted. The rest of the group was asked to listen and reflect on their listening, noticing any distractions and specific feelings that came up while listening.

Doing this exercise made me realise how important it actually is to be listened to. To have opportunities to share what is on your heart without holding back. Yes, it takes courage to open up, but the process is made so much easier if you know that whatever you are sharing is in safe hands. To know that whoever is listening, does this without judgement but from a place of love and acceptance.

The following poem by John Fox describes this process beautifully:

cupWhen Someone Deeply Listens To You

When someone deeply listens to you
it is like holding out a dented cup
you’ve had since childhood
and watching it fill up with
cold, fresh water.
When it balances on top of the brim,
you are understood.
When it overflows and touches your skin,
you are loved.

When someone deeply listens to you
the room where you stay
starts a new life
and the place where you wrote
your first poem
begins to glow in your mind’s eye.
It is as if gold has been discovered!

When someone deeply listens to you
your bare feet are on the earth
and a beloved land that seemed distant
is now at home within you.

John Fox

I wish that you may find this space where you can share the story of who you are with your whole heart. A place where you feel safe and listened to.

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