As I Listen . . .

Posted on 21 January 2010

I am honored by how people let me into their lives.  As I coach, I listen to people who tell me more than just their hopes and dreams, they share their hurts, the ways they feel invisible, the parts of themselves they don’t like, and the things they are really afraid of within themselves and their world.

I’m honored by the depths of themselves that people are willing to reveal.  It takes courage to be seen, and it is powerful.  Often, I witness fears and shames dissolve as a person shares them.  When they are spoken into the open space between us, and when we pause together to look at what’s there, what was once big and mountainous seems to shrink in power and scope.

This is my job as coach – to listen, to witness, to walk with my clients through their own inner landscape, and to help put what we find into perspective and light.

This morning in a parking garage a young man in an oversized, big hooded sweatshirt asked me for change.  It’s been raining for days, the streets are full of running water, and his hood looked as if it had provided little protection.  As I was reaching into my wallet, I asked him how he was doing.  He told me “I could be dead right now,” and he pointed into the water filled street, “… but I’m not.”   I looked in his eyes and saw him.  They were full and I thought he might cry.  “No, you’re not,” I said, “I see you here.”  I walked away and my eyes were full.

It only took a question, and a casual one at that, for him to share himself with me.  And it only took my listening for me to be touched by him.  When people honor me by letting me into their lives, I’m the beneficiary of something meaningful.  I receive that reminder of inter-connection when I let someone touch me.

I could try to interpret a meaning into my exchange with the young man in the parking garage, but that’s not necessary.  It wasn’t a big epiphany, or a lesson… it was just a moment in which we connected and I walked away moved.

That’s the kind of listening I want to do every day, beyond my coaching sessions, beyond my deep conversations with friends and loved ones.  As I honor those in my world by listening, I let them honor me with their sharing.  It’s a circulation of real connection that itself bears witness to the fact that we are one in our humanity.

3 comments to As I Listen . . .

  • echo1973 says:

    my goodness Jessica, what a wonderful example you set for us all. i could feel Spirit move through me, pause with me, as i read your words today. thanks for sharing kid!

    Love & Light,

    as i wonder….
    how tender can i bear to be?

  • Mom says:

    Everyone longs to “connect” yet, distrust has taken the place of trust it appears, in general. You dispell that distrust, by being genuine.

  • Shannon says:


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