Have you ever been in a situation where someone reads the expression on your face and sympathetically takes the time to ask you what’s wrong? It’s like an open door that you’re afraid to step through because everything inside your head, the expenses, the “not so great” relationships, the responsibilities of every day life is like that downstairs closet where you put everything you don’t know where to put and you’re afraid to throw away. If you’re a teen, you can add in your social status, your homework, your hormones and sleep deprivation. Each of these issues need a solution but when lumped together, an escape route seems like a better plan. So when this compassionate person hits you with that loaded question of “What’s wrong?” you have to make a decision of whether you’re going to risk it and open the dam prepared to witness the flood of everything you are feeling in that moment which has built up over time or lie. Lying always seems easier and less messy.
The original title of this blog was going to be Don’t Stop Listening If I Start Crying. For we all know how uncomfortable it is to patiently wait while someone is weeping in front of us. Everything in our being wants to fix this situation. We want to make it all better simply because we are uncomfortable listening. Therapists get paid a lot of money to sit and listen. Some clients get frustrated just talking and talking. They want the therapist to give them an answer. Many intense emotional issues can dissipate if there is somebody willing to listen. As a spouse or a parent there is a tendency to want to be the sun, moon and the stars to the ones we love. We want to be the hero, the comforter or sole (soul) support to those we care about most. This is not always possible, nor is it the best when it comes to our family. What if you ask “What’s wrong?” and their answer is “YOU! You are what’s wrong.” It takes deep humility to keep listening at that point.
Think about a time when you felt really listened to. You shared your feelings and they didn’t piggyback your issue with their own insights or worse, their own life story. They simply listened and really heard your heart.
This might not be the message that your life needs today. You may be the one needing to talk rather than listen but I thank you for reading it. I hope it helps. If you find yourself in a situation where someone has the courage to share with you how they’re feeling, I hope you try listening and when a solution pops into your head, instead of saying it, you simply say, “Tell me more.”
If you feel as if you don’t have anyone in your life who will listen, text HOME to 741741. This will connect you with https://www.crisistextline.org . For more information on how it works, please click the following link: https://www.crisistextline.org/texting-in