Just Listen

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Sometimes you want to give advice to a friend, family member, a coworker, an acquaintance, because you hear about their troubles and you can see all of the red flags. You have a sense that it’s about to get messy and it won’t end well. You just know in your gut that they are being led on, lied to, tricked, etc. Or that they’ve developed bad habits. At least you think you do.

You recognize all of the warning signs. You see yourself in them. You’ve been there before. You’ve seen someone else go through it.

Their partner is a complete douche. Their boss is taking advantage of them. They are being manipulated by someone. They are self-sabotaging.

When you hold their hand and see them cry again, you are tired of it. And you feel guilty. You are helpless as you watch them crippling in defeat, wallow in self-pity. You care because it’s messed up. You’re upset because of the rinse and repeat cycle. You want them to learn from your stories and your mistakes to spare them the grief, stop them from wasting their time with complete B.S.

But it falls on deaf ears. So the other option is to bite your tongue.

Or is it? I prefer to tell it like it is, because I don’t have the heart to make believe. But I’m learning a few things.

Disconnect from your beliefs, your opinions, and your own emotions about their situation. Forget pondering what you would or wouldn’t do in their shoes. We all do it. It’s not about you.

Listen to them. And as hard as it may be, allow them to falter, to embrace their darkness and immerse themselves in their pain, their rejection, their rage. Let them strip down to the bare bones of their fears.

We all see what we want to see in our own minds. What’s glaringly obvious to you, might not be for the person filled with desperation, love, desire, hope, or naivety. It’s frustrating to witness, but this is their spiritual journey. It is their opportunity to evolve as a person for better or worse. This is their time.

Some people don’t want the truth. The rawness of it crushes them into pieces. They just want to feel good.

Don’t lie to them to make them feel better. Become the loom to help weave every thread together.

I’ll look into their eyes and their depths speak volumes. Oh how I wish you to be free.

I hope my words resonate with you one day. Or perhaps they will cut you deeper. Choose carefully.

My ego has no place here. I will not expect you to do as I say.

I detach myself from your outcome. But I’ll be here for you.

I have as much control over what happens as I do giving someone on the street cash for a bite to eat. I want them to do the right thing, but I can’t stop them from choosing drugs over sustenance. They are steering the wheel.

You can’t fight everyone’s battles. But you can always listen.

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