I listen. It’s what I do. Oh, I can certainly talk a lot but I am also a very good listener. In a part of the world where being quiet and simple listening seems to be more and more unknown that gift of mine is especially needed. And so I listen. I listen until my head hurts from this foreign language and my heart and soul bleed from the stories and emotions that people pour into me. It’s not just one story, or one person. It are many. I take a while to process them and then store them away in my heart. They are safe there and to share a burden is always good, right? So here I am in this country that honestly sometimes really scares me for all kinds of reasons and I listen to stories of abuse of all kinds, rape, PTSD, substance abuse, death, pain and suffering on massive scales. I hold hands and offer hugs. I dry tears and know that these people don’t need council, they don’t need words of compassion or understanding. All they need is someone who listens, someone who takes those stories into their heart and holds them dear. Listening makes you tired. Listening in a language that is not your first can be exhausting. But it is so needed here and I guess that is my gift to the people of this country. I listen.
Do these stories affect me?