Time to listen

#MightyMums. Alix Bossard reporting from the inside of a real mummy's brain.

Listening is perhaps the greatest gift we can offer to someone ...

It's telling them, not with words, but with your eyes, your face, your smile and your whole body: You're important for me, you're interesting, I'm happy you're here. It comes as no surprise that the best way for a person to reveal oneself is to be listened to by another! Listening to someone means being silent.

Have you noticed how "dialogues" are full of expressions like: "It's like me when..." or "It reminds me of what happened to me…"Quite often, these are just tricks to make the conversation about ME.

To listen is to start by stopping the little inner movie, the monologue. To listen is to let go of everything. To give all of one's time to the other.

It's like walking with a friend: adapting to her pace, staying close without invading her personal space, letting yourself be led by her, stopping with her, heading back with her. In exchange for nothing. For her. To listen is not to try to answer, knowing that only she has the answers to her own questions. It is to refuse to think instead of her, to refuse to give her advice and sometimes even to refuse to try and understand her. To listen is to welcome the other with gratitude as she defines herself, without giving directions or prescriptions.

It is to be open to all ideas, all subjects, all experiences, all solutions, without interpreting, judging, leaving to the other time and space to find the path that is hers.

To listen is not to want someone to be like this or that, but to learn to discover her specific qualities. To be attentive to someone who suffers is not to give a solution or an explanation to her suffering, it is to allow her to say it and to find her own way to free herself from it. To listen is to give to the other what we all crave: attention, time, and affectionate presence.

Author: Alix Bossard, a mighty mum of 2.

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