We do it all the time in the physical world-leave the shopping cart in line with the admonition to the person behind us to “hold our place” while we run to get that forgotten item.
We leave a gap for that minivan to pull in just where the construction cones narrow a highway from two lanes to one.
We open a door and step aside so the elderly lady with her hands full can manage to get through without dropping the load.
But most of us are not as good at it in relationships.
I think part of the reason is because we are often unaware of the NEED to do it. We don’t have external cues like traffic cones or physical barriers or long lines waiting to check out or get in.
So we miss the opportunity to step aside, or step back or simply wait a moment for another heart to catch up or move over or step through.
Sometimes it’s because our minds are so used to multi-tasking and treating every single minute as if “time is money” that we are unwilling to slow down enough to truly HEAR another heart.
I find that if I’m not very, very careful, I spend a good part of the time I’m supposed to be listening, constructing my response before the person I’m “listening” to has even finished her comment.
It takes a lot of discipline not to do that.
And I don’t always exercise it.
I want to be a person that holds space for others. I want to be a heart that listens well and pays attention to the message another heart is sharing.
I believe that when I do that, I can lighten a load.
Because often what someone needs is just to know they are seen,
they are heard and
they are loved.