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A poem about listening

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Feb. 27th, 2006 | 03:16 pm
mood: pensivepensive
music: whirring fans again

please, just listen
when i ask you to listen to me and you start giving advice,
you have not done what i asked.
when i ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me
why i shouldn't feel that way,
you are trampling on my feelings
when i ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do
something to solve my problem,
you have failed me, strange as that may seem.
listen! all i asked was that you listen,
not talk, or do... just hear.
advice is cheap: twenty-five cents will get you both
dear abby and billy graham in the same newspaper.
and i can do that myself. i'm not helpless.
maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.
when you do something for me that i can and need to do
for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy.
but when you accept, as a simple fact, that i do feel
no matter how irrational, then i can quit trying to
convince you and get about the business of
understanding what's behind this irrational feeling.
and, when that's clear, the answers are obvious and i don't
need advice. irrational feelings make sense when we
understand what's behind them.
please listen and just hear me, and if you want to talk wait
a minute for your turn, and i'll listen to you

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| written by ray houghton, m.d.
| teen times, nov/dec 1979
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Edit: If only our children knew how to tell us this.. and the parents could hear it. Then families would be so much closer!

Another edit: This is a great source of material. Very thought-provoking. Don't look if you don't want to deal with death and related issues. Or maybe do go, and face your fears. It has a section on making death notifications that I found fascinating. These are people who deal with things that most people wouldn't even consider.

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