Five Minute Friday: Listen


It’s #FiveMinuteFriday!

Five minutes of writing on a word prompt give by Lisa Jo Baker over here.  

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

Are you ready?


LISTEN . . .

I’m not a very good listener.  Never have been.  I’m a fixer.  A doer.  A problem-solver.  Tell me what the problem is – preferably in 10 words or less – and then be quiet so I can logically come up with a solution for you.

It’s not that I’m bossy.  Well, not always.

It’s not that I’m always right.  Well, not always.

It’s just that I have this deep rooted urge to fix things that are wrong.  To help people be happier and make their lives a little easier.  And, honestly, God has gifted me in the problem-solving area.

But I’m learning that it’s not always about solving someone’s problem.  Because some problems just can’t be fixedlogically or otherwise.  I had one of those last year.  No one could fix my problem for me, or even help me to fix it myself.  But I really, really, really needed friends who would just sit with me and listen.  Who wouldn’t offer unsolicited advice or spiritual platitudes.  And who definitely wouldn’t judge me for having to make the hardest decision of my life.

My experience taught me that I need to slow down and really, really listen to what someone is saying to me instead of just quickly offering unsolicited advice about what they should or shouldn’t do.  If they ask me for help, great.  If not, then most of the time I need to keep my opinions to myself.

But most of all, I learned that when someone needs me to be there for them, then I need to be all there.  It isn’t easy for people to ask others for help, especially emotionally or mentally.  To ask for help is to lay yourself bare to another person.  I don’t want to ever take that lightly.

Newsflash:  When someone who has been pummeled by heartbreak tells you that they really need you right now, they don’t mean “I need you to hang out with me and cheer me up.”  Though that may be what it looks like on the outside.  What they are really saying is “I’m not quite sure how I can keep on breathing, and I need to know there is at least one person who cares about me right now.”  

I don’t ever want to ignore or turn my back on someone that has reached out to me for support or understanding during a time of deep pain.  I’ve been on the receiving end of that, and it only multiplies the agony of a hurting heart.

When someone reaches out, I want to be the kind of friend that will put everything else aside and focus on them.  To be present with them in the midst of their pain.  I don’t need to talk.  I don’t need to fix.

I just need to show up and listen.

Wanna play? Here’s how:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.


2 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Listen

  1. Dear Nancy
    We can so easily become a bunch of Job’s friends when we try to solve another’s problems and pain! Actually, we sometimes think the world will stop spinning without our help, don’t you think.
    Much love XX

  2. Pingback: Monday Mitzvahs: Listening and Mirroring | Leslie's Illusions

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