Gooood morning, Mini-Women! Can I just say that I have the PERFECT cup of tea beside me right now. And my kitty (King Arthur Rue) is up on the desk, licking the remains of my oatmeal. And I can hear my lab Guinness snoring in the next room as he takes his morning nap. Sometimes I wish I was a dog ... but then again, not, because a dog can't tell you what he wants you to know. Not in words, anyway.
It's just sort of born into us, isn't it - that need to be heard -- that deep-down longing for somebody to listen to us -- REALLY listen.
* Not be going. "Uh-uh," and "Oh really? " when it's obvious they're not actually hearing a word you're saying.
* Not be doing that thing with their hand that means, "Can you move this along?"
* Not be smiling and nodding when you've just asked a question, because they don't even know you asked it
We've been talking honestly about how WE probably do that to our friends too. It's hard to admit, but, yeah, we're on the edge of our seats, waiting for a pause so we can jump in with what WE want to say -- as AMELIA said, before we forget.
I'm thinking it comes down to: WE ALL JUST WANT TO BE HEARD!
That's true, right? I hang on every word Maeryn says, partly because I'm her grandmother and I think she's straight-up amazing but partly because I know everybody else in her life is way too busy to be able to sit down for an hour and just listen to her ramble. That's nothing bad about her mom, dad, teacher, or dance instructor. The world would come to a screeching halt if everybody listened to every kid every minute with full attention. I mean -- impossible right?
But -- and here's the deal -- we ALL need at least one person who can hang with us and listen, really listen to what's on our minds. When we can be heard by that person on a regular basis, we're not so pushy about being heard by our friends who have the same feeling we do : SOMEBODY LISTEN TO ME! That doesn't mean we don't still work on our listening skills with our friends. It does mean we're not so anxious about it.
So where do we find that person who will sit down, look at us, and say, "I have some time. What do you want to talk about?" I have some suggestions:
* Ask your mom or dad or some other member of your family who you really like to talk to if you can have maybe a half hour or an hour a week where you two can just talk. If that seems awkward (like maybe you'll sit down across from each other at the Pizza Hut and not be able to think of anything to say!), then watch for a time where that might work. Can you help your mother fold clothes in the laundry room and say, "Mom, can we talk about some stuff?" Can you offer to help your dad wash the car and strike up a conversation? My best talk times with my mom growing up was when she washed the dishes and I dried. (So maybe you could unload the dishwasher together? Does anybody DRY dishes any more?)
* Think about an older person you like who seems to have more time than other people. That could be a grandparent, but what about a retired lady in your neighborhood? Or one at your church? This doesn't have to be an "ancient" human being. Maeryn's other best-listener is her Aunt Annie, who is in her twenties.
* Is there a teacher, coach, or some other adult in your world of activities who you could offer to help so you can have some talk time? When I was teaching, I had great friendships with kids who hung around after school and helped me with bulletin boards and filing. If you got to practice early could you help your coach set things up? Could your co-op teacher use some help carrying thngs to her car while you run things by her?
Of course, there is one being who is always available to listen. One who never interrupts. Never gets that "when are you going to be done so I can talk?" look. Never moves right on to the next thing as soon as you take a breath.
God always, always listens. We complain that God doesn't talk back, but, uh, isn't that what we want our friends to do? Just listen? I promise that if you do these things, you won't have that NOBODY HEARS ME feeling so often:
* Talk to God every day.
* You can do it out loud, in your mind or, my fave way, in your Talking To God Journal .
* Talk as much as you want about anything you want.
That's it. It's so simple, how come everybody isn't doing it?
If you want to comment today, tell us who might be willing to listen to you, really listen to you --and how you're going to try to set that up, even without saying, "I want us to talk every Wednesday at three pm.!"
We're all here to listen. And so is God.