i got a text the other day from a friend. a fairly new friend, actually. someone that my wife and i have connected with, and all three of us have felt that this newly found friendship has the potential to be a great one. anyway, i received this text from the friend, who is experiencing an amazingly reflective time in her life right now, asking if we all wanted to get together for beers. the main reason? for her to share with someone all of her thoughts and feelings. she needed a sounding board, someone to just listen and be present with her.
so, while it wasn’t too hard of a thing to do (meet at a pub to drink beer and talk ), it was actually a bit different that just hanging out in some ways. so, for day 2, what i gave was my ear.
we met at the pub (wicked weed, for you asheville lovers. tip: go downstairs, it’s better down there!), got our beer (amazing & weird beer), and settled in for a cozy afternoon. there were a lot of people there. it was kinda loud, but the table we were at was tiny and perfect for conversation. my friend pulled a folded piece of paper from her bag, took a sip of beer, and began talking. well, not just talking, more like sharing deep thoughts, ideas, epiphanies, and revelations.
as i sat there, i did my best to just give her all of my attention. to bend my ear toward her and open up my soul to receive her thoughts and feelings. and, only when appropriate, did i respond or talk myself. or at least i tried to do that – i can be quite the talker. of course, after a while, we got past the “serious” stuff and then engaged in a little tipsy giggling, laughing, and storytelling. but, the thing that i worked really hard on, consciously worked on, was being aware and present. of being just in that moment and giving all of my focus and attention on what was happening at our little table.
you know, when we take the time to listen, it is amazing the connection we can create with another person. it’s like a sacred little moment, a bit of something divine opening up and moving in-between. it is truly a gift for everyone involved. the thing is, really listening to someone, not only makes that person feel loved and accepted, but it also teaches the listener – or, it did me. it teaches me the power and the joy of living in the present moment. of shutting out and off everything else, and just getting so wrapped up in the present, that all else fades away.
and don’t we all have something to say, and just want to be heard? i guarantee that we when take the time to simply be present with someone else, that same presence will be given to us, just when we need it. kudos to my new friend, for reaching out and for saying that what she wanted, what she needed, was simply someone to listen to her.