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06 February 2009 @ 11:01 pm
Handwritten journal from May 27, 2008  
S. came over for dinner last night and stayed over. We had breakfast together, had an interesting conversation about Buddhism.

I learned something in my conversation with S. this morning. It's called Meeting People Where They Are. As we talked, I felt the push and shove at certain moments of each of us vying for our place in the conversation. I watched myself cycle through a wide range of feelings as we talked, some very negative, some positive, and lots of places in between. But at one moment, I looked in her eyes as she spoke and something changed. There was some breakthrough in her, and also in me. She was talking about how the awful time she'd gone through with her mother made her realize her own mortality. She suggested how frightening that was, not directly, but clearly. At that moment, I understood that that fear was what was 'up' for her. It was what she was prepared to talk about and listen to. It was where her mind was receptive. It was the way into her views, her consciousness, at that moment. I also realized then that it was pointless to lay out my 'stuff,' my interests on the table if they were not related to that fear, that phenomenon, that experience. And then something clicked for me  -- that's compassion, that's listening, that's communication -- helping people in conversation to focus on what is up for them and then speaking to that.

And my needs? Clearly, they will be taken care of, too, because when people feel really heard and seen, they are ready to listen and see themselves.

Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative