Listening. Breathing in so someone else can breathe out.


I went to see a friend the other day. Which is a bit of an event because mostly I live a very busy, very fulfilling life, all in my own little bubble and rarely poke my nose out.

There just isn’t time.

But this is a very good friend and when we catch up once or month or so it is a mad marathon of talking and laughing (sometimes crying) that we can barely pull ourselves away from. 

But I had been busy, as had she and it had been nearly a month. Which is too long. So when she said in a very nonchalant fashion “we should catch up” I jumped with both feet.

For an hour – I reflected later – probably an hour I mainly held the floor with what had been going on in my life. Luckily it was not a working week. It was a quiet Sunday so no lunch time limits. 

The conversation wove back and forth but it was a vehicle mainly driven by me as I had been travelling and what not – lots of exciting things to tell. Or so I thought.

Finally I wound down. It was then – during the second hour  – that my friend began to tell me what was in her heart. And what she had to say was compelling – I shut up (for the most part) and listened.

Which is the beauty of a give and take talk with a friend, only sometimes I am guilty of more take less give – we all are.

How often in life do you think people feel truly listened to and understood?

I know I rarely do – yet I talk quite a bit when I am in the right company and I’ve spoken about the importance of understanding at this post The three saddest words – but it’s not sad (the blog post) so cheer up , so I won’t natter on about it here except to wonder why such a simple thing is not done more.

Listening. An hour here and there out of the 168 hours available in a seven days available. Not even an hour, ten minutes is worthwhile if spent properly. 

That old person that lives alone. Maybe they are your parents. How often do you think someone sits down for an hour and listens to them. How often do you?

It is not just the elderly or those that live alone. Entire families can become fractured when siblings, parents or children are  not listening to one another. 

A lonely person can be standing, surrounded by people talking at them but if they are not heard and listened to – they will still feel alone – if not more so.

An hour. It is a long time yet the seconds fly like birds when you are listening, truly listening with your whole heart and an open mind. 

Empty your head. Let someone else fill it with their troubles for awhile. Put yours aside and God knows it may even make them seem less troublesome when you pick them up again.

I don’t think many people have ever been sincerely listened to for a full hour many times in their lives Have felt understood and cared about for a full hour. It is life changing for both the listener and the speaker.

Maybe that is why the waiting list for a good Psychiatrist is full.

And the suicide rate is so high.

I wouldn’t dream of attempting to write without first having read because I know one without the other is like trying to live whilst only breathing out.

We must take in life sustaining oxygen and intelligent information or our speech and our writing becomes arrogant, shallow and ignorant.

Breathe in.

And out.

So here is my reminder to myself for the day. Below.

Then I’m off to WordPress reader to listen to some of the other people in this amazing blog world. 😘 


9 thoughts on “Listening. Breathing in so someone else can breathe out.

  1. Your way of writing is simply fantastic! I can keep reading and never feel bored or off topic. The words truly have a greater depth to them, do keep writing!

    I came across your blog from the DreamBigDreamOften post, where I had been nominated alongside you!
    It was great going through your posts, would love if you could come check some of mine too 🙂

  2. Very interesting read, couldn’t agree more.
    Was guilty of this myself, maybe i still am – although to a lesser degree, but there is nothing worse a feeling then not being heard of or listened to.

  3. I love that you’ve reminded me of the importance of JUST LISTENING. I’m so excited to share my world with my friends that when we get together, I can’t wait to “spill my guts” (Aussie saying for telling a friend everything) and forget sometimes to just breathe – and in that breath, listen to my friend. I’m so glad you and your friend both took time to listen. It sounds like a balanced friendship of listening and love and I think we could all do with that in our lives xx

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