Wisdom from Rachel Naomi Remen, in Kitchen Table Wisdom:
“Everyone alive has suffered. It is the wisdom gained from our wounds and from our own experiences of suffering that makes us able to heal. Becoming expert has turned out to be less important than remembering and trusting the wholeness in my self and everyone else. Expertise cures, but wounded people can best be healed by other wounded people. Only other wounded people can understand what is needed, for the healing of suffering is compassion, not expertise.
“[In a Master’s class given by Dr. Carl Rogers, he shared,] “Before every session I take a moment to remember my humanity. There is no experience that this person has that I cannot share with him, no fear that I cannot understand, no suffering that I cannot care about, because I too am human. No matter how deep his wound, he does not need to be ashamed in front of me. I too am vulnerable. And because of this, I am enough. Whatever her story, she no longer needs to be alone with it. This is what will allow healing to begin.”
“Listening is the oldest and perhaps the most powerful tool of healing. It is often the quality of our listening and not the wisdom of our words that we are able to to effect the most profound changes in the people around us. When we listen, we offer with our attention an opportunity for wholeness. Our listening creates sanctuary for the homeless parts within the other person That which has been denied, unloved, devalued by themselves and by others. That which is hidden”
This is, in great part, why I am so drawn to spiritual direction and why I am so blessed to offer this gift to the community. I don’t claim to be an expert. But I do listen well, and I believe in the power of the divine to heal when we pay attention. We are all equals, all in process, all becoming. I trust this… do you? What is your experience of listening or being listened to that led to healing?