Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

listening

A friend was in tears today.   Sometimes life is hard.  Sometimes really hard.  What could I do?  What could I say?  

Why is it that I feel like I HAVE to do or say anything? 

So I listened.  She cried.  I listened some more.  Her pain was raw.  My heart hurt for her.  I validated her emotions – sometimes that is really all one can do. 

Yet I did understand.  In fact, I understood more than she would know.  Sometimes life hurts.  Sometimes there are no answers.

Sometimes people we count on aren’t there.  Sometimes those we think are with us are really only looking out for their own interests.  Sometimes people let us down.  Sometimes we let others down. 

She apologized for unloading on me. 

Why is it that we feel the need to apologize when we have turned to someone to unburden our load? 

Why is it that we think we must be able to handle all things well or there is something wrong with us?  

Why is it that we push people away when what we need is an understanding ear and a prayer?

A friend was in tears today.  I listened. 

til next time

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November 14, 2009 - Posted by | relationships | , , , , , ,

6 Comments »

  1. Unfortunately, I think in many cases the “Why…” is because we’ve been in a similar situation so many times before when the emotions may have seemed just as raw when they were invalidated or we were witness to such invalidations that we’re afraid the same will happen “this time” too. Other times we were treated as if we were deliberately just trying to burden the “listener” when that was never the intent or like we’re “just bringing (them) down” which was also never the intent. Compassion, it seems, is not nearly as prevalent as criticism, lack of patience, apathy, etc. We also realize that everybody is busy and time is as valuable as money sometimes and we’re not trying to “rob” people of their time though how many of us have been accused of that as well.

    Often when we care and especially when we really can empathize or at least sympathize we really just want so badly to do whatever is within our power (and often what isn’t) to help rectify the situation. We are directed to bear one another’s burdens after all, thus the feeling we HAVE to say and do something. Unfortunately, I suspect most of us have also probably been in the position too before of having somebody decide for us, them, God, and everybody else what has to be done without bothering to hear all the information or pray about it also, maybe they even got overtly pushy over it, thus some of our tendancies toward pushing people away.

    The tendancy to use ourselves as examples and say things like “I” did (whatever) and I had (this), (that), and (some other thing) wrong or going on at the same time too when “I” went through (whatever situation we think is similar and qualifies us to think we’ve “been there”) and I didn’t have so much trouble so really you’re just being a big whiny butt baby who ought to just suck it up and get over it already–that paired with our own insecurities and fears based on those insecurities I suspect contributes a LOT to the idea that something must be wrong with us if we don’t handle things well. After all, don’t we tend to like to try to buy the idea that we’re supposed to be setting the “good” examples, we’re supposed to be “better” than “that”. It doesn’t make sense to our logic that showing weakness, showing wounds, admitting to something that FEELS like failure could possibly be “good” or “better”.

    I’m glad your friend was able to open up to you and that you were able and willing to listen. That’s another thing that can seem rare. Somebody actually being available to listen who would be willing to at the time the shoulder is needed. I hope whatever the situation is for your friend that by the time you read this God will already have shown some resolution to it or healing or you know, whatever the case may be. Sometimes He breaks us down to show us our strength, sometimes our weakness, sometimes He’s showing us how far we’ve come or how far we still need to go. Sometimes He wants us to keep things between us and Him, at least for a while, and sometimes He’ll “borrow” the use of another’s ears and arms so we can put a face on the compassion He shows to help us better cope. Sometimes He uses our laments that seem to be without reason to help out the one we’re leaning on in ways we might not even realize. It may create a break from the person’s own struggles in a way they might not have even realized they needed. Not always, but sometimes.

    Just some thoughts.

    Comment by LisaB | November 14, 2009 | Reply

  2. Lisa great comments!!

    [Compassion, it seems, is not nearly as prevalent as criticism, lack of patience, apathy, etc.] How true but oh how sad. Everyone wants compassion. At least I don’t know anyone who wants criticism or to be belittled and yet there are a lot of people out there that are handing out the very thing they don’t want.

    [Sometimes He breaks us down to show us our strength, sometimes our weakness, sometimes He’s showing us how far we’ve come or how far we still need to go.] Great comment!! Sometimes it is so very hard.

    […so we can put a face on the compassion He shows to help us better cope] May we be His hands and feet extended to those around us.

    Thanks for giving all who read this something more to think about.

    Comment by Gloria | November 15, 2009 | Reply

  3. Your welcome…now, I guess we’ll just see how long I remember that myself or ’til I need to be reminded. Hopefully it’s helpful.

    Comment by LisaB | November 16, 2009 | Reply

  4. Oops! That should have been “You’re welcome” not “your welcome” I’m so glad we’re not always limited by our own typos, bad spelling, or bad grammer when communicating.

    Comment by LisaB | November 16, 2009 | Reply

  5. You’ve always been a good listener!

    Comment by Pastor Curt | November 16, 2009 | Reply

  6. Lisa – I’m glad too that we are not limited by typos……

    Thanks Curt 🙂

    Comment by Gloria | November 16, 2009 | Reply


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