Thursday, July 7, 2011

Just Listen

What do I need from you, you ask?
How can I help?

You can do so much,
but nothing much;
nothing much, but it is everything.

No strategies, theories and please,
no solutions.
Just listen. Just listen.

Why would you think you know
what I should do in a life
you have never lived?

My solution is within me,
we both know that.

What I need from you is
your full attention

so that I might hear
my own answers,
in my own voice.

If you always have a plan,
and always know what decisions
I should make,

I will have to stop 
asking you 
for help.
from "Sip Wine, Drink Stars"

Permission to use this poem has been requested by several group leaders as an affirmation for how they will work with one another. I've even been contacted by a therapist in London who has used it in recovery workshops. I'm glad that it resonates. In our desire to help and/or to take away a loved one's pain, we are quick to offer solutions, and in doing so to miss the real need...the need to be heard. What a gift it is to simply sit with the problem or the pain and be willing to offer empathy and love instead of quick fixes. It takes a very strong person to just listen.

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