jerry had it right. “elaine, i tell you, that 'i'm there for you crap' is a stroke of genius. pure genius.”
i’m a great listener. i’ve been told many times...many. it’s nice to get that kind of compliment from people; and though it makes me feel really good about myself, it’s not really true. i’m going to let you in on a little secret – i am a good listener because most times i have absolutely no idea what to say in response to what you just said. especially when it comes to listening to people who are hurting, upset, angry, disappointed, confused... while you are in tears baring your soul, my heart is simultaneously breaking for you whilst my mind is sorting through and eliminating all the clichés and selfishly wondering if what i finally settle on as good enough to actually voice next is going to be judged and found wanting.
let’s face it, no one, no matter how dire the circumstances of their current trial, needs or wants to hear:
well, you know, sandra, when God closes a door, he always opens a window
God only gives us what He knows we can handle
even if it’s well meaning, i don’t want to hear that crap. and i highly suspect most others don’t either. this sad fact leaves me with nada.
having recently spent quite a bit of time listening to people close to me going through rough times, my fumbling attempts at real wisdom or insight have found me begging the question – is just being there enough?
i am comfortable just being there, i really am. this is a good thing in light of the fact that we move to belgium in less than 6 months where amazing wisdom or not, i will be doing a lot of listening and just being there on account of my “no parlez français”.
the best I can hope for is that if i listen just hard enough, i will open my mouth and the holy spirit will speak through me. and for all those other times, hopefully the fact that I am just there, listening, caring, loving... hopefully THAT is enough.
**UPDATE: this made it onto brazen careerist as a featured post last week. (i feel kind of excited)