Helping others

Here you may share how the words Eckhart Tolle have affected your life.

Helping others

Postby magicbutterfly » Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:29 pm

I just spent an hour listening to a friend complain about her life situation and I wished very hard with all my mind :mrgreen: how I wanted to be like ET and just listen quietly. I have noticed that in general conversation I find it easier to just let others chatter roll over me. But this time, I couldn't. I had to go and try to fix her life. I could watch and hear my mind talking and judging in the background, as I attempted to give her advice: "how can you be so stupid and put up with this and not realize that ..."
I hope that next time, I will be more present when this happens and just shut up and listen and nod like ET. But how can I stop the internal rolling of the eyes and judging? :roll: In my past, I have done what she has done, so I do have compassion and empathy for her but for an hour she was just going around in circles...
I guess I still have a long way to go. :(
Any ideas?
"As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease." Ekhart Tolle, The Power of Now
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Re: Helping others

Postby Onceler » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:13 pm

I believe not responding, just listening is helpful from a human, psychological view, not just a spiritual one. Paying attention can be the highest form of respect and generosity that we can do. A listening, receptive state allows the other person to dig a little deeper and process their thoughts and feelings verbally, which can lead to integration and new insight. I believe this is far more helpful than advice unless you have specific knowledge that would be useful.....I have found it beneficial to listen deeply as I integrate what the other person is saying, then add my thoughts when the other person has run out of things to say or are repeating themselves, if there is an urge to do so.....

The danger with this is, of course, that you can become emotionally engaged, either picking up their state or triggering your own negative state (pain body).

This act of listening is really the key to successful mediation, friendship, therapy, business, marriage, you name it.
Be present, be pleasant.
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Re: Helping others

Postby magicbutterfly » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:38 pm

Thanks, Onceler - it makes sense it's just that I need a reminder, or a kick in the shins to be able to be more present while with this friend. I can be present when I am alone, so I suppose this is the next step yet with her I go unconscious. Not quite because as I am giving her advice, I am also watching my mind spinning. But I want to become more aware and present, listening and not judging, not advising, not commiserating. I need a tatoo on my hand that says, thou shall not judge or advise. :roll:
"As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease." Ekhart Tolle, The Power of Now
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Re: Helping others

Postby treasuretheday » Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:42 pm

Magic, I hear you listening to your life! How wonderful that you want to offer your friend such devoted attention. I agree that attentive listening is a rare and precious gift. This time, you feel you missed the mark.

Maybe. But even if you didn't respond as a "perfect" listener, could it be that your friend still took away the good intentions behind your "chatter?" If so, she took away love, and your heartfelt engagement, however "flawed," was helpful.

Maybe this was just the conversation your friend needed to have! Maybe she later reflected on the exchange and something in your words clicked with her. Every encounter, situation and person is different. You could ask her for feedback. Until she tells you otherwise, give the benefit of the doubt to the helpfullness of your efforts.

The conversation was clearly the one you were meant to have, as you process this exchange as part of your learning experience. You want to practice being fully present while listening. That's generous and wise, but be gentle with yourself. Your heart is in the right place. Isn't that what matters, first and foremost? You don't have to be perfect.
Life itself is the proper binge.
-Julia Child
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Re: Helping others

Postby magicbutterfly » Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:55 pm

Treasure, thank you for your kind comments. You made my day (on the surface of course, all is well down deep) :D I do judge myself more than anyone else and that's another lesson.
My friend just sent me a text that she is leaving tomorrow the painful situation (two people who are verbally abusive to her) and she wants to meet with me again. I will tie a string on my wrist as a reminder to listen well. :roll:
"As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease." Ekhart Tolle, The Power of Now
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