In our Leadership class, we’ve been talking about practicing the art of compassionate listening, reflection, and redirection. This technique is not a tool we use to fix someone or tell another what they should do or how to live their life.
1. Compassionate listening is hearing what someone is saying without adding interpretation.
2. Reflection is letting the person know that they have been heard and
3. Redirection is not dismissing what one is saying, it is holding a space for Spirit to move into the situation to bring about a calming sigh, a sense of peace, an opportunity for the person to return to center and experience the Spirit of God that lives them.
There is a story in (Mark 10:17) where a man knelt before Jesus and asked him, “Good Teacher,” what must I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus heard him. He acknowledged him by responding “Why do you call me good?” What Jesus is saying is that answers to problems cannot come from another person. No one can hear what we say. Anyone who has raised children understands this. Children and adults must walk their own journey and find their own conclusions. Why do we think we have the answers when even Jesus said: “Why do you call me good?” Jesus continued and said, “No one is good, but God alone.”
Later in this same conversation, Jesus tells the man if he wants to follow him he must sell all he owns and then come and follow him. When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving for he had many possessions.
To sell what we own is to notice and release the incessant opinions, judgments, longings, cravings and restlessness. We don’t need to beat ourselves up over these impulses for they are human – but when we notice those impulses arising we can look compassionately upon them, acknowledge them and then shift our awareness back to center, allowing the Spirit of God to rush in and infill us with wisdom, guidance and love.
The ego does not want to have anything to do with this. It makes no sense. I mean we need to fix things, especially people we don’t agree with!!!!
Again, as we breathe, return to Center, we are turning it over to Holy Spirit where we will discover that only God is good and as we let go and let God, we may feel a numinous Presence infilling us, for only in God alone can it be revealed to us we are All-One.
Or, as Paul Tillich says, “What if God is not a being but Being itself?