I'm here to listen to you.
I have so highly appreciated being heard all my life. We're living in a noisy, busy world, and sometimes it feels like we can yell, with tears in our eyes, and no one's going to listen.
There is a difference between listening and hearing, and while we all know that we still get confused at an inherent level, occasionally. When anyone tells us that we're not listening, we do not understand how we can do that. But without listening, we can hear, and we can be there, without really being there for anybody.
I did not understand the idea of keeping room for a long time. I have heard the word so many times, but I have not fully grasped its significance. I get it right now. Holding space means creating space inside yourself, setting aside your understanding, your feelings, your emotions, and holding space for the other person.
Even if you feel bad about what they say, feel irritated, feel confused.
You may never completely understand what they mean, but they only ask you to be there to listen, to open up a room in your heart that says, "I care enough to listen to your thoughts, even if we may never agree, even if we may never be the same. Yet I care for you as a human being and as a spirit."
I refused to place my voice in turmoil.
For one thing, I don't want to say the wrong thing. I don't want to strip away the most powerful voices that deserve to be heard.
Second, our world is so full of people voicing their thoughts right now and I don't want to do that either.
All I'm trying to say is that I believe in the power of passion, the power of communication, and the power to be understood.
I have experienced the pain of not being heard, and I have experienced the joy of being heard, and I want to give this gift to others.
So if you read this I'm asking you to hold your room.
Hold space for someone you do not understand.
Keep space for those who are in unimaginable pain right now, for those who sound like they're crying with tears in their eyes, and they're still not heard.
Hold space for the black people in our lives, in our neighborhoods, in our world, who need their voices to be heard right now.
Whether or not you feel comfortable when you hear what they say.
And it's for listening today.
And only if we first listen do we understand how to help and how to heal.