Having a dedicated listener helps. Difficult decision-making becomes less so when a trusted friend sheds light on a possible resolution. Though sometimes there are none.
If I carry a heavy burden by myself, it is difficult to see the whole picture. The weight of it all obstructs my vision. A good listener pins her own ears back without allowing drama or grief to interfere. There is the possibility of a resolution process.
My friend Dena left this world not too long ago. She possessed a precious gift that she shared time and again with her friends and loved ones. It was one of the most valued gifts I received from her. The longer she has been gone, the more I miss her caring, attentive listening. She gave me so many insights on many of the rocky paths that I have traversed. Sometimes I took that advice, sometimes not.
I can still hear her say, “Stop going back to an empty well!” I did it anyway, and still, she made the time to listen again. She was dedicated to finding a way to help me see, hear and understand a better way to navigate life.
Once I told her about a family member who was always doing no-shows. When I didn’t take her advice and kept going back, she suggested, “Bring a book and plan something to do in the area, just in case.” Now why couldn’t I have thought of that?
Another time, I met her at a discount store. I arrived late, only to find her with a shopping cart filled with clothes, in my size. She said, “I remembered you needed a coat to attend your upcoming conference. Here are some on sale.”
Dena gave of her time, which is finite for all of us. We talked daily when possible for almost half a century, and told each other our innermost feelings and thoughts. I felt I had in her a comforter, a therapist, a priestess, and a dear friend. She was dedicated to giving her time to freely listening.
I intend to pay her gift forward. It is a precious gift, not only to listen, but to remember what one has told you. To carry good things forward, that is Being Ageless.