I went for a run today... it was the first one since...
I passed the corner... you were not there...
The corner has become like the hill. It is somewhere I will go many times but it will never be like it was. It is like a dead spot in the world... A place that was once happy but now is sad... Because it is empty...
I ran all the way to the hill today. You and Adam were not there either...
I knew you wouldn't be but I couldn't help but look... and hope...
Your brother called today... He has been about the same as I have... He is going to come over tomorrow... so we can be miserable together...
You should come back
By Dhara Jani
“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” ~Ralph Nichols
Did you know that one in ten U.S adults suffer from depression? (This is according to the Centers of Disease Control & Prevention.) How do I know? I was one of them. Starting in 2008, I suffered from depression for more than a year.
Many factors contributed to my depression—of course loneliness and lack of social support were the obvious factors—but the major contributor was that I didn’t feel understood. It was a transition year for me, as I had left my corporate job to find more meaningful work that was aligned with my core values.
With the time off, I started feeling and sensing how much past pain and resentments I had stored inside my heart. It was like the quieter I got, the more I heard how much of what was inside me. I felt a huge void, as if I was a failure in more than one aspect of my life.
During my depression, I felt like my family members and friends did not understand me and lacked the time, patience, or skills to listen effectively. I felt suffocated, isolated, and invisible.
The universe has a weird way of working things out in life; things appear or show up for a reason. What appeared for me was a powerful listener. Though this person was a complete stranger to me, I felt connected from the very first day.
When they listened so patiently and intently to my words and feelings—both expressed and unexpressed—it felt so incredible that I didn’t want to stop sharing. I emptied my entire heart, all my fears, disappointments, and pain. I released all of it.
It was a pure, non-judgmental, patient, and empathetic space where I got to express and feel understood and validated. I didn’t get any solutions, advice, or answers. Instead I got thought provoking questions, like “What does your soul really want?” “What makes you happy?” “What are you grateful for?” and “How can you forgive?”
It was this powerful listening that provided immeasurable healing. It was the first time in my life I actually felt like I had been heard, really understood—like what I had to say made sense. I felt important and visible again.
Like most depressed people, I lacked motivation and self-worth. Feeling understood is the most basic of human needs; during a time of depression it almost feels as critical as the need for air.
Being understood immediately shifted my perspective: from feeling invisible to feeling visible, from feeling down to feeling uplifted, from feeling contracted to feeling expanded, from feeling hopeless to hopeful.
It made me rise again and take care of my basic needs. Slowly but surely, I was able to walk out of the depression with the help of powerful listening, which has changed my life forever.
Have you ever been in a situation when you felt like your words weren’t being acknowledged? Like you were expressing yourself over and over again, yet what you were being misunderstood? Like you were fighting so hard to get your point across, but it only got worse?
This often leaves you feeling frustrated and angry, with doubts about yourself. It can cause you to hang onto negative emotions and resentments, which could become the building blocks of depression.
“Effective listeners remember that ‘words have no meaning—people have meaning.’ The assignment of meaning to a term is an internal process; meaning comes from inside us. And although our experiences, knowledge and attitudes differ, we often misinterpret each other’s messages while under the illusion that a common understanding has been achieved.” ~Larry Barker
When someone listens to you well, it makes you feel accepted, understood, important, valued and validated. It gives you a voice to help you find yourself again. It reminds you that you are not invisible or alone.
Although we hear with our ears, many of us don’t necessarily listen to what is being said. We don’t get the chance to listen when we are too quickly reacting, judging, providing solutions, and disagreeing, rather than being a good sounding board.
We also don’t get to see a lot of examples of real listening because it is so rare.
So what does it take to be a good listener?
It starts by realizing how important and powerful this practice can be. Also, realize that it’s all about the other person. If you can put aside your own agenda, you’ll be able to focus on really hearing.
That means 80% of the time you listen patiently without interrupting, and the remaining 20% you reflect what you heard and ask questions to get more information about the situation.
When you are an active or mindful listener, you are fully present, not thinking about the past or the future. With full concentration, you can recognize that, as Bryan Bell wrote, “It is frequently not what the facts are, but what people think the facts are, which is truly important. There is benefit in learning what someone else’s concept of the reality of the situation is.”
Check in with yourself: Are you aware of your focus level? How long can you concentrate without your thoughts drifting off?
Good listeners not only concentrate on the words, they also look for nonverbal communication like pitch, tone, and rhythm. Look for the hidden feelings behind the words, and find what might inspire, excite, and free them up.
Be curious and ask questions to get more information, “How do you feel about this? How would you resolve this?” Paraphrase what you hear to confirm you understand.
“Many a man would rather you heard his story than granted his request.” Phillip Stanhope
The best listening skill is to be non-judgmental. When you judge someone when they’re talking, the other person often shuts down. Non-judgmental listening gives the other person a sense of freedom and acceptance.
Listening benefits the listener as well. It helps build trust, avoid misunderstanding, and above all it’s a true gift which you can share to uplift people.
Take the time to really listen today, and see how it changes other people’s lives—and yours
I think I'm learning how to not let shit get to me so much. The things me and my family have been through, the shit were going through, all the stress, I can let it go easier now. Some of it I struggle with, and I still have my bitchy and moany moments, and probably over react at times, but I can see the light a million times faster then I used to. My mom doesn't understand why I've been so slow to move on with my life by getting a real job and moving out, and even though I want to move out more then anything, I always knew that I just kinda needed to chill and figure some shit out for myself, get my mind in the right place before I can move forward with my life.
My car is finally 100% legal! The last thing I had to do was get the state inspection done. I dropped it off this morning on the way to the park with my aunt and the kids.
I was kinda shocked that my aunt wanted to take a picnic to the park. It was a good idea though. It was a pretty day, windy and cool. We went to a "park" that is really just a playground surrounded by soccer fields. It was fenced all the way around with only a few openings to watch out for. That's always a plus if Oscar decides to run off. There were a number of kids, some of them older...and that as well as some of the conversations I could overhear clued me in to it being a homeschool group gathering. I chatted with some of the parents, but I realized it wasn't MY sort of homeschool group. Classical Conversations....ick. Not my bag at all. I was polite and friendly, but I didn't drop the whole non-religious-hippie-unschooler bombshell....which is fine because I wasn't interested in joining anyway. I need to make a point to go to home ed recess on Wednesdays though. Also my bestfriend commented that a rink on the South Side has skating lessons for the littles on Thursday mornings. That I NEED to do! Dan loves her skates and needs more oppotunities to use them.
Anyway, after the park we got frozen yogurt and went home. By that point I was rather tired since I'd been dragging Oscar all over. He was out of sorts by the time we did icecream.....and when he is out of sorts it means a lot of picking him up and struggling to keep him from trying to leave the building. Too damn strong for his own good....
Then I had to pick up my car when Aaron got home.....left straight from the auto place to meet Amanda for dinner. That was a nice break for a bit. When I got home it was still light out so I weeded the garden and trimmed the grass around it. Tomorrow I have company so I need to clean. Wednesday and Thursday are also booked. Oi.
Human responses often baffle me. Everything I was told growing up has turned out to be a devastating lie.
As a result everything feels backwards to me.
I think someone likes me, they can't stand me. I think a woman is avoiding me, turns out they like me. I try talking freely with people, and I just scare them away. I don't know why I even bother anymore.
there is a high mist this morning..
I could not sleep so we walked early..
before the sun was ready to say hello..
the time between night and morning
when the silence of the night
gives way to the hushed voices of early birds....
there were two boat far out
another one just on it's way to the fishing pools..
it's running lights bright against the pale grey/blue of the sea..
the cool felt good on my cheeks..
That set our hearts aflame
And vowed to each that we'd be true
Our love was not a game.
We'd keep our love forever, and
Would never, ever part.
I looked into your eyes and then
I gave you all my heart.
Forever, you would whisper and
Forever it became.
The word was tattooed on my heart
Became a living flame.
That set our love on fire then
One that could never die
My love was true and deep for you
I never thought you'd lie.
When last you said that word to me
I smiled and held it dear
And never even realized
That you'd be gone from here.
Forever's what you said to me
As you were on your way.
But you forgot to tell me that
Forever ends today.
I've always been against the idea, thinking I'm stronger than that, or that they do more damage than good- but desperate times call for desperate measures.
My melancholic demeanour has been becoming too destructive and I had to do something about it.
Now, I don't know if its just my mind creating these effects or if its actually the drugs ( I know they generally take 6-8 weeks to kick in so probably the former), but I feel quite peculiar after I take them - like a sepia veil is placed over my eyes making me feel like I'm in a living dream...
....I do have an over active literary imagination, so I'm sure it's just my brain formulating this weird feeling - regardless of where its coming from, though, I don't like it.
When shadows of darkness falls upon me
Hours when no-one allows me to see
Tantilising demons of fear
Like Phantoms drown my ears
Sweetness captured in mindless dreams
Visions of laughter in crystal seas
Dancing in eyes shadowed by fear
Bleed the heart with flaming spear
Black of light in brilliance
Shading visions of romance
Flood memories of tenderness
Drown emotions of emptiness
If we should part …
Where will I find your eyes?
Who will look into my heart?
Tears in my heart the only sign
Of the longing deep inside
The hurt of yearning
Burried in my mind.
If you could go back and visit your past for just one hour……where, when, and why?
If I was given the one time opportunity to go back in time, even for an hour, to any point in my life….where, when and why? To do this, I would gladly enter a “Time Regurgitator” and plunge back through the years and decades to the night I, (or I should say you), graduated from high school in 1965. I would find myself,(or I should say you), waiting out in a back parking lot of the high school next to our old 1954 Ford. I already know that you’re on your way out of the school’s auditorium heading to our car and then you’ll drive around to the front of the school to pick Celia up. I know you’re jazzed and ready to take on the world, and the last thing you’ll expect to meet is some old gray haired fart cruising the parking lot.
You finally show and I say “Hello, Chipper.” You’ll look stunned, because ‘Chipper’ is a nick name only your granddad uses when he sees you. You’ll stop and look me over trying to decide whether to call for help or just whip my ass. Wouldn’t be much of a fight, as I know about your bad right knee.
“How come you know that nick name?”
“Your granddad calls you that.”
“You a friend of granddad’s?”
“I’m related to him,” I smile.
“You a pervert or something old man?” That’s when I’ll take out my wallet and remove my driver’s license and hand it to you. You look it over and then say “So what?”
“Look at the name.”
You shrug your shoulders and say “Big deal, same name.”
“Look at the birth date.”
You look up a moment later and laugh, “You got to be 80, and this ID says you’re born the same year as me and that would make you 18!”
“Same day and month, too. What it won’t tell you is your Mom and Dad’s names, Joan and Phil….and I’m 66 nit wit.” You look troubled now and you start looking around for help in case I drop my pants. I quickly attempt to explain the phenomenon that’s taking place and that I have but minutes left before I vaporize. You’re still looking around for assistance. The more I try to explain, the more I look and sound looney.
“You’re a wacko, old man! I’m me and I ain’t you and you ain’t me…..or whatever.” At this point, I remembered how stupid I could get if I got too much information at one time.
“Okay, forget all that. What I’m about to tell you is for your own good…take it or leave it. First, in nine years, you’re going to be faced with making an irresponsible decision concerning a personal relationship with a coworker. Think and then don’t do it! Next, spend the next forty years of your life listening more and talking less and never ever hesitate to admit when your wrong. Then, on your 1992 Tax Returns, take the standard deduction and skip all the bogus bull shit. Next, always make Mom and Dad a big part of your life. Always, make it a point to talk with your kids everyday of their young lives and encourage them in all the things they will do in life. Next, skip all the macho bullshit and openly accept your wife as an equal and vital part of your life.”
At this point of my rendering, you are now thoroughly convinced of my insanity and you’re looking over your shoulder at the rest of the people walking into the parking lot from the graduation.
“Finally, teach your kids to save money, don’t buy that 1975 Dodge Dart, don’t buy all those leisure suits, don’t get that rose tattoo on your ass during your midlife crisis and don’t let one day go by that you don’t tell your wife you love her….and speaking of your future wife, she’s still waiting for you out in front of the school!”
The next thing I’m aware of is a sensation like gentle electrical shocks all over my body and now I realize I’m back from then to now. I step out of the regurgitator and then pay the guy for a few extra mushrooms to take home. Later, as I look around, everything seems to look the same, no changes. Then I drop my Dockers to see if the rose tattoo is still there. It’s not! But, in it’s place is a simple scrip tattoo that says…..'It was the 91 Tax Returns, Asshole!'
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