Ever since facilitating a conversation on race relations last week, I’ve been thinking about what it means to really listen. There were many challenges for me last week, and some of the greatest challenges were those that showed me how much deeper I need to take my own listening practice. Here’s what poured out of me this afternoon, after a few days of contemplating listening.

listen

Listen, my heart said.
You don’t have to fix anything right now,
you just have to listen.

Listen to the wounded.
Listen to the joyful.
Listen to the fearful.
Listen to the warriors.
Listen to the poets.
Listen to them all.

Gather the bits of wisdom
they scatter on the ground
like seeds in the Spring.
Gather the bits of stories
they drop in your basket
like morsels for a picnic.

Gather it all
and let it change you,
let it reshape you.
Let it crawl under your skin
and plant itself there
like it was always part
of your own dna.

Listen to the elders,
to the children,
to the women,
to the men,
to the Spirit,
to the earth,
to yourself.

Listen for understanding
for compassion
for witness
for forgiveness
for healing
for growth.

Listen when they’re silent.
Listen when they’re loud.
Listen when they’re happy.
Listen when they’re sad.
Listen when they hurt you
in their efforts to hurt less.
Listen when they disagree with you.
Listen when you disagree with them.

Before you do anything else,
before you step onto the path,
before you become an agent for change,
before you know the answers,
before you try to lead anyone,
just listen.

Listen.
And then let your deep listening
be your guide
and let your courage lead you forward.

Pin It on Pinterest

Join my mailing list and receive a free e-book, news of upcoming programs, and a new article every 2 weeks.

Thanks for subscribing!