A friend calls you with terrible news. It could be any one of a myriad of human issues: their beloved parent is dying and they are at their wits end; their child has received a terrible diagnosis and is suffering; their spouse had a heart attack and is in the hospital; the job they loved is ripped out from under them or they are on emotionally shaky ground not finding a way out of a life situation. What can you do?
To begin with, quietly tune in while listening. Your desire is to be there for her, not to fix the situation or counsel her on what to do next or make her parent not die, her child suddenly become well or her spouse healed. With your open heart, you simply and compassionately listen. As you tune into her, you observe her on many levels: energetically, physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. She is not aware of your wide-angle heart view but she senses you are a safe spot where she feels comfortable telling you things she does not easily share. Her angst is relieved by being heard without judgment without pity without clever repartee without having to prove anything without settling on a difficult decision. After you hang up, you continue to do your compassionate loving work. As you pray, talk or connect with the Divine, you ask that your friend find her way with ease. You ask that she and her family find relief from their current pain and suffering. This is your action, your way to assist without intrusive behaviors. You listened to her and became what she needed – a compassionate trusted friend, one who could hold the suffering she is experiencing with grace.
To listen with your heart:
Sit with focused presence while staying in the moment. Keep your attention on what you are hearing, seeing and feeling.
Drop your agenda – this moment is not about you or your feelings or how you would or would not react to the same scenario. She is not asking for advice, rather, she needs your kindness.
Tune out everything but what you are hearing. Practice being there fully for your friend.
Gently ask questions if that is warranted in this heartfelt soul-to-soul connection.
Offer your open heart, not heady left brained advice. With an aware heart, you can connect in many layered dimensions to keep the moment pure.
Give up trying to fix the problem. You are a compassionate friend with a neutral agenda.
Be kind in your words and deeds. If you feel you are getting close to crossing a line of discomfort, back off and take a reflective pause.
Evolve rather than solve the issue. Allow her to lead the way towards her healing. She is the only one who can heal her suffering. You are a gentle sounding board.
As a compassionate heart felt listener you give and receive the energy of the moment with acceptance, openness, kindness, awareness and most of all love for one suffering human to another. It is a tender gift to offer when the opportunity presents itself.