I offer the gift of compassionate listening.
Intently listening is an act of kindness and understanding toward another. So when someone wants to share with me, I provide a listening ear and offer my warm and peaceful presence. With the best intention, I may want to jump in and fix the other person or the situation. Even the best of intentions may cause further upset if advice or action aren’t warranted or asked for by the person sharing. So I refrain from inserting my thoughts while I’m listening, respecting that one of our greatest needs is to be heard and accepted exactly where we are. I let my loved one or friend finish telling the story. If it feels right, I may ask, “How can I be of support?” As I practice empathy, I soon discover that offering my presence and being present in the moment is the greatest gift.
Let anyone with ears to hear listen!—Luke 8:8