“We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.”
― Zeno of Citium
Have you ever experienced the healing beauty of having someone mindfully listen to your pain and your struggles? The calming safety of knowing that you are understood by someone who is taking their time actively listening to you rather than preparing a constructed reply can greatly ease suffering. Compassionate listening is an art, the art of understanding without judgement people who are in need of it.
Next time you encounter someone who is suffering, try to ask them if they need to talk about it with someone. Helping people is not only about giving advice, but about letting them steam off what pain they are keeping bottled up inside. Listen to their struggle, and while you do, imagine what it must be like to be him or her in that moment.
Acknowledge their struggle, Tell them that you can’t fix what is going wrong for them, but that you feel and see that their pain is real. Ask a follow-up question, and learn if they need to talk more about it by demonstrating curiosity. Be always present while they keep talking, and once they are done thank them for sharing what they are going through.
Compassionate Listening within Yourself
Compassionate listening is not only about helping others: it can also be about helping yourself. You can soothe your own suffering by mindfully listening to what you are experiencing within rather than trying to distract yourself.
Next time you are feeling a heartache and you feel like there is too much going on, try acknowledging that pain and cry it out. Don’t keep it in; if you can, try seeking some listening friends that can use compassionate listening the same way you did with them! When you will get that support, you will feel so much lighter and loved.
I hope this article can be an inspiration for you to help people in need, and that it can lead you to ease their suffering. Spread the love by sharing this piece around, and don’t forget to leave a like on our Facebook page to keep up to date with the latest posts!