Listening

Adair Heitmann here, writing to you on this hot August day.

The eminent doctor and author, Rachel Naomi Remen wrote:

Listening is the oldest and perhaps the most powerful tool of healing. It is often through the quality of our listening and not the wisdom of our words that we are able to effect the most profound changes in the people around us . . . Our listening creates a sanctuary for the homeless parts within the other person. Listening creates a holy silence. When you listen generously to people, they can hear truth in themselves, often for the first time. And in the silence of listening, you can know yourself in everyone.

Listening is what we do in our Writer’s Groups, we listen to each other’s words. In our groups we create a space of trust and confidentiality. Many writers are vulnerable beings, we, at times, wear our hearts on our shirtsleeves. Where else in the world, except possibly in a church, confessional or therapist’s office can a person go and have his or her words simply listened to?

Yes, in our writing critique groups we offer constructive feedback which helps the writers improve their craft. But really, today, I am thinking it is in the power of listening, with respect and reverence, that our deepest work gets done.

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Published in: on August 20, 2009 at 8:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

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