(this letter was written on 9/26/2019 – one from our archives)
How many times have you signed up for a listening shift since coming to the Listening Post? For so many of you it would be overwhelming to count. And you do it: you serve. You do it so regularly, so consistently… it is just what you do. You love it, plan for it, and show up. You are available and you listen deeply. Then the shift ends and in no time at all you’re back on another listening shift.
Ordinary life for an LP volunteer.
The image above is what I see when ‘you’re back on another listening shift.’
How ever it is that you are drawn to it, whatever inside you moved you to commit to this kind of service, showing up and waiting for someone – anyone – to sit with you and start sharing the burdens of their heart or the longing of their souls or the hurts inflicted on them or by them… you and your guest are resting on the edge. No matter what you think you are doing when you serve, being courageous is part of it.
In an adventure, you never know in advance what you will face or how you will handle it. Or maybe that is stated backwards: what makes any situation an adventure is facing the unknown and allowing the unknown to draw forth from you whatever is needed to face the situation.
Contactful listening takes no small amount of courage.
I invite you to take a moment and notice your own courage. If you don’t see yourself as courageous, allow me to encourage you. How many people do you know, outside of the Listening Post, who rest on the edge with anyone just to give them a chance to be heard?
I’m guessing that is easier to count than how many listening shifts you have taken.
with awe and gratitude,