Thoughts from Therapy- On Listening

I distinctly recall one afternoon, asking a friend of mine the casual greeting of "Hey, How's it Going?"

And he replied- "Ahh... I'm feeling pretty stressed." 
Like most people, I sought to enquire and asked "Oh? What's up?" 
And he went on to explain, briefly, why he was feeling the way he was feeling. After he finished, I can't remember exactly what I said but it was something along the lines of "Aw... at least.. __(insert silver lining)___" 

And what he said next floored me and stays with me today.

"Anita, it's okay. You don't have to fix it." 

And he's absolutely right. How often in conversation do we jump to soothe and fix and make a situation "OK" again? When we do that, we rob the other person the opportunity to authentically experience their feelings.

Rather than listening with a compassionate ear and an open heart, we let our logical brain take over.

We wonder what they will want to hear and we think of ways to take the "ugliness" of discomfort away (for both our sake and their sake). When this happens, we are no longer truly listening. 

 The same goes for our own experiences. How often do we sweep "ugly" sentiments under the proverbial rug? Instead of "listening" to what is actually happening in this moment, we recoil at and reject any traces of negativity.

We are quick to problem solve- thinking it will save us from failing when all it is doing is preventing us from feeling.  

'Thoughts from Therapy' is a series of random snippets of "Aha" moments as documented in Social Yoga pocket notebooks. Submit your "Aha" moment via: