How to be a blank sheet of paper

I wish I could be empty

Like a bucket

Or a pot

So you can pour your troubles into me

Without me stopping to reach for a buffer

My fingers suffer beneath the heat of your trauma

I am too shallow to hold all your demons

Instead they interfere with my own

And there is a fight deep down

Your fear provokes mine

I can hold almost anyone elses pain

But when it comes to yours

The triggers remain ON!

It is ironic that I cannot take away that which I most want to

Because I can’t hold it

Your emotions are too hot

So I drop them and lean away scalded

Sadly blow on my singed fingers

And wish I could stop

But I can’t hold them, you’ll have to find someone

Who cares less

*People talk to me, fill me with their troubles and I listen. I don’t mind and I feel that they want to hear their own voice as it emerges from deep inside, and something in that process, helps them.

When I walk on I don’t take anything of theirs with me. I used to, before I learnt that listening has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with others releasing. Like a blank sheet of paper for someone who has not learnt to write their inner voice, I listen. It is about them allowing their thoughts to birth into the world, they often find their own solution by simply talking. And by being heard they can begin to cease hurting so much.

No, other peoples demons and pain don’t worry me, except when it comes to those few that I really care about. I mean, we care about everyone, extend genuine empathy to those who come into our presence and tell us their story. But there are some that we truly love deeply and their pain is difficult to hold without burning ourselves.

I can become frustratingly useless to the ones I love the most at times, because I feel a need to solve their troubles as quickly as possible. Their fear or anxiety provoke my own. I hate seeing them go through something alone, so I throw all of my empathy in there and useless as it is, I hurt right along with them.

I don’t feel that same urgency with those a little further out. I sympathise and empathise and offer a little advice if I have any and am asked, but truly I don’t feel the need to jump in and sort their lives out. Always, I am cognizant of the boundaries between their troubles and making those troubles my own.

I can see the need for doing that with my closest few, but it’s much harder to do.

How do we listen to those we love and get ourselves out of the way enough to be effective?

The pot holder analogy is probably quite apt. We need a buffer. Imagine a big circle of compassion and love, like a thick bouncy mattress that all the pain and frustration, irritation, anxiety and fear could spill from one person into, without it affecting the listener.

Imagine a powerful spirit like God that could sit transparently in front of us and simply accept the emotion of the other, and we could stand further back, behind that screen, be the human receiver but have it filtered through God. We are still the familiar face, and our loved on is heard, without our own emotions coming out to meet them and interfere with the flow of their words.

Perhaps that’s all angels are – people who can put themselves behind God, lend an impartial ear, and help where its needed, without becoming involved in the turmoil that ensues, when one person becomes so moved by what they hear.

It’s a nice thought and something to try next time someone I love needs an ear, a heart. I’ll hopefully remember to bring that greater spirit down, give them a seat at the table. I don’t think we humans offer much in the way of wisdom anyway, without a higher consciousness becoming involved.

It’s Wednesday as I write and it’s sprinkling rain. My tomatoes (which have remained green for so long) have finally begun to turn purple. I ate one yesterday straight off the vine and it burst in my mouth, warm and sweet. Life is very very good. I hope you are well X

Header Pic thanks to Harli Martin Unsplash

12 thoughts on “How to be a blank sheet of paper

  1. beautifully put; we all meet people like this, and some are quite close to us, but we are only capable of empathizing so much before we are overwhelmed ourselves —

  2. You have so much love, care and compassion for those around you which is both a blessing and curse. The emotional “cost” of helping others and taking on their burdens can be too high sometimes. Look after YOU, ok? You’re so precious and worth diamonds xx

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