Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘taking time to care’

Lend Me Your Ear

This is the season for giving, a season that challenges us to be our very best selves. When we pass the Salvation Army volunteers ringing the silver holiday bells with the small red buckets swinging on their stands we remember to dig into our pockets and give a little extra to help another. This type of donation is visible. It makes us feel good just knowing that in our own small way we are helping out a more needy soul.

There is another, equally important, type of donation… the fully giving of our self through our time and attention when someone needs a shoulder to lean on or an authentic ear to listen. After all, to be silenced or ignored by others is not due to the lack of a voice but rather the lack of a listener. It is the toughest form of rejection. When we care enough to fully engage ourselves in listening to another we honor and validate them – maybe even ease their burden ever so slightly for the moment. The very least that can happen when we take the time to stop what we are doing and listen is that a little time will elapse and a greater understanding will be imparted between fellow travelers. Sometimes that moment of exchange can make a world of difference. When we hear the uncomfortable stories from others who seem to be living uncomfortable lives do we really take the time to respect them as human beings or do we rush to judgment thinking to ourselves, ‘if they would just do this or that their lives wouldn’t be so difficult.’ Maybe so – maybe not. After all, we don’t walk in their shoes and are not carrying the same set of burdens or lessons to learn. We are busy with our own. Is it possible that these human beings just need a moment of our time to be heard and recognized? It is a small price to ask and even smaller price to pay.

Each of us benefits from a listening ear, an unglazed eye, and a genuine interest in what we have to say from time to time. It is the universal need that unites us as humans. Truly being heard is the highest form of recognition we can give to others. The Hallmark company used to have a saying about their greeting cards which speaks volumes, ‘When you care enough to send the very best.’ When we apply this thought to our daily encounters with others over the next few weeks, caring enough to be gentle, thoughtful and patient -to give the very best of who we are even in the midst of a stressful season that requires a million and one tasks to accomplish we make a huge difference and elevate the vibrations of our world.

Have a great few days!

Listening to Others

What makes us emotionally richer and deeper as human beings is when we try to walk in the shoes of another and search for a point of understanding rather than judgment. John Lennon wrote a song entitled, ‘Mother.’ It was not a particularly popular ballad but I would challenge you to listen to it. Simply google his name and songs to hear it in its’ entirety. It is a song of deep longing and the gut wrenching grief he felt even as an adult by not having a mother or father that was there for him during his short life. ‘You had me…I didn’t have you… I wanted you…You didn’t want me. Mama don’t go…Daddy come home.’ When we hear his name, thoughts of success, talent, even a lifestyle of the rich and famous come to mind. But how many of us realize that inside his heart he was as raw as any of us due to his early experiences.

Most of us are blessed with at least one parent if not two who offered unconditional love. So it is difficult-or nearly impossible to understand the feelings of those who have not been loved with heart and soul. Yet, there are so many walking wounded who struggle in life due to traumatic early experiences. They are waiting, hoping for a smile or even a kind word as they face the challenges of life with a hole in their heart from a deep seated loss.

When we consciously take the time to try to even marginally understand the struggle of others it just causes us to be a bit more gentle, a tad more understanding and more aware that none of us gets through life unscathed. We have all chosen our path to learn unique lessons – as painful as they may be.

Loss comes in so many different forms. Not having a parent figure or significant other in our life can cause us to experience the same stages of grief that others do when they lose a loved one through death. If you listen to the lyrics of Lennon’s song and hear the emotional pleading in his voice, you can better empathize with those who have feelings of abandonment and loss. The heart of this talented song writer and performer remained raw even after years of living what most would label a highly successful life. Some losses are just like that – forever deeply embedded in the cells of our being. Sometimes we just need someone to take the time to recognize our sorrow. It allows us to regroup and move on. At other times, we find it impossible to completely move on but we still need others to hear, to care and to offer us a hand on our life journey.

As we evolve as human beings we realize the importance of feeling gratitude for each other and gratitude for each day. We recognize the importance of judging less and caring more. We remember that everyone has a story and that through greater patience and understanding we can make a difference in our world.

Have a great few days!

Showing You Care

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our own needs, our own world, that it helps to stop once in a while to think about what we have done lately to make a moment better for a fellow traveler. Recently, I received a heartfelt card from a friend and it reminded me how important it is to let others know you care. When we make the effort, it’s a win-win for you as well. The thoughtfulness you show others is positive energy and as it goes out to the Universe it’s like a boomerang and magnet combined. It returns to you with even more positive energy to brightened your life. I’ll bet someone out there would like to hear your voice, receive a card or read an email from you. Who knows, you just might make their day a little better.

There is a poem by Margaret E. Sangster entitled, The Sin of Omission that puts the topic of thoughtfulness in perspective.

It isn’t the thing you do;
It’s the thing you leave undone,
Which gives you a bit of heartache
At the setting sun.

The tender word forgotten,
The letter you did not write,
The flower you might have sent,
Are your haunting ghosts tonight.

The stone you might have lifted
Out of a brother’s way
The bit of heartsome counsel
You were hurried too much to say.

The loving touch of the hand,
The gentle and winsome tone,
That you had no time or thought for
With troubles enough of your own.

The little acts of kindness,
So easily out of mind;
Those chances to be helpful
Which everyone may find –

No, it’s not the thing you do,
It’s the thing you leave undone,
Which gives you the bit of heartache
At the setting of the sun.

Have a great few days!