If it is language that makes us human,
one half of language is to listen.
In this program, I have learned to listen. In most meetings, I cannot interrupt, comment, or respond immediately or directly to another person's share. I can only sit and listen. I can only take in what they are saying. I can only connect it to my thoughts and understandings.
As an Al-Anon friend, and most particularly, as a sponsor, I have learned to listen without judgement. I have learned to still my desire to find a solution, to fix a friend's problems. I know that I most often am not looking for a solution, but for a loving ear. I want someone who will hear me, who will understand me, who will empathize with me. Someone who can say “Yes, you are human. Yes, you have erred. Yes, you are loved. Yes, I hear you.” I am learning to give back what I most yearn for.
It is a gift to be listened to, and it is a wonderful gift to listen.
A meditation for December 24, 2012.