I am here to listen.
All of my life, I have so deeply valued being heard. We live in a loud, busy world, and sometimes it feels like we can be shouting, with tears in our eyes, and still, nobody will be listening.
There is a difference between hearing and listening, and although we all know that on an intrinsic level, sometimes we still get confused. When someone tells us we aren’t listening, we may not understand how that’s possible. But we can hear without listening, and we can be present, without truly being there for someone.
For a long time, I did not understand the concept of holding space. I heard the term so many times, but I did not fully grasp its meaning. Right now, I get it. Holding space means making room within yourself, putting your understanding, your thoughts, your feelings aside, and holding space for the other person.
Even if what they are saying makes you feel bad, feel frustrated, feel confused.
Maybe you will never fully understand what they are saying, but they are simply asking you to be there, to listen, to open a space in your heart that says: “I care enough to listen to your feelings, even if we may never agree, even if we may never be the same. But I care about you, as a human, and a soul.”
I’ve hesitated to put my voice into the chaos.
For one, I don’t want to say the wrong thing. I don’t want to take away from the most important voices that need to be heard.
Second, our world is so full of people sharing their opinions right now, and I don’t want to be doing that either.
All I will say is that I believe in the power of love, the power of connection, and the power of being heard.
I’ve experienced the pain of not being heard, and I’ve experienced the joy of being heard, and I want to give that gift to others.
So, if you’re reading this, I’m asking you to hold space.
Hold space for someone that you may not understand.
Hold space for those who are in incredible pain right now, for those who feel like they are shouting with tears in their eyes, and are still not being heard.
Hold space for the black people in our lives, in our communities, in our world, who need to have their voice heard right now.
Whether or not you feel good when you hear what they are saying.
Because today, today is for listening.
Because only if we listen first, can we understand how to help and how to heal.
Photo by Tatum Bergen on Unsplash