Just imagine that you would cut yourself accidentally and a little blood came forth. Do you know what the blood does? It plugs up the breaching of the skin so that microbes and fungi stay out; it sends blood cells that attack invaders and eat debris, it glues the wound’s edges and it guides the skin cells to grow over it to close the gap. Brilliant, no?
Now, what would happen if I would say: “Blood coming out is bad, remove it anytime you see it — no, every time it starts to be showing”? The wound may never heal. Crazy? Well, let’s look at emotional hurts.
Say you get shocked by something. Every human being would immediately seek others to tell them. You may cry, you make shake. You may tell them high pitch or tell jokes about it. You may want to replay the scene. There are many way to help heal the emotional hurt.
But what would happen if I ran to others and they’d not let me tell anything, claiming that the only way to heal is to forget about it. No matter how much I try to go back to the hurt, try to cry over it again, every time adding the hurt that I was not allowed to cry, shake, laugh and talk about before, no one listens. Worse, they distract me. They mistake the “healing process” for “being in pain.” They don’t see that what they call being in pain is actually getting over the pain – as any baby knows. Then the wounds never heal. Though most people never stop trying to find a listening ear.
Unfortunately, while they try to find a listener, any half-hearted listener also wants to be listened to. This is so simple to remedy. It’s called: taking turns. You listen to me for five minutes and then I listen to you five minutes. Without interrupting with what I so desperately want to say (even about you). Letting the healing process happen. It costs nothing.
However, this does not work well when we are drugged, medically or recreationally, stoned, drunk, giving physical difficulty to our brain. To heal emotional hurt, we need our brains – and anything that chemically “influences” our hemispheres stops it from working properly. That’s how psychological drugs and psychoanalysis work so well. They stop the recovery processes, enabling the specialists to set diagnoses because the “patient” will not change or heal when not given a chance. (This is a pity because Freud started out so nicely, let letting people talk.)
What would happen when we listen to a baby warmly and patiently, and don’t distract, interrupt? Although it will feel as if it will never stop, they always stop by themselves. Babies go play, or fall asleep, or let you know that they need a clean diaper of some food. I tried it. They always stop.
But not only does this not take forever, look at how they are doing after that! They don’t try to cry at everything, sometimes for days. They are more happy and bold. And smart. If it works for babies would that work for grownups too?
I tried. There is nothing that brings up so well what we need to talk about as listening to babies crying! And it works for grownups too. For me and for anyone I ever listened to.
So why is this knowledge not propagated? Well, for starters, no one is making any money from people listening to each other and making each other happy like that. That doesn’t help in a world where so much rotates around advertising and greed.
There are other pitfalls. Slowly but surely, grownups learn to seek comfort instead of healing. And there is big business involved in that. The short-term comfort instead of long-term healing often costs money and not only stops healing but also is often harmful for body and mind.
Actually, taking turns listening to each other is a form of give and receive, the basis for every friendship, which in turn is the basis for any wonderful intimate relationship. But people denied attention often end up stingy with their attention span. They forget to give and to wait to receive – they grab instead. Two people grabbing what they can, can never make themselves happy, or each other.
So try it: 1. To hell with comfort. 2. Find someone to listen to, to train your skill. 3. Find someone who listens to you, to heal what’s on top. 4. Combine 2 and 3 by swapping time. Your life will never be the same, and it’s cheaper and healthier than anything you ever chose to do.
O, by the way, philosophizing about it does not work; one needs to actually do it.