....that people really need to talk, really seem to need an ear right now, and it seems like now more than ever, I'm lending an ear and hearing all sorts of life things that folks are dealing with, from health issues to elder care issues to kid issues to work issues to partner issues...people have lots of issues! And they really need someone to listen. I am a good listener, I think. I listen. I just let people get it out and (I think, I hope) I don't judge, which is perhaps why people find it easy to tell me things, intimate things that perhaps they might not otherwise tell other people. I guess it's somewhat of a gift I have, but it also is quite exhausting. Because in order to really be an active listener, you have to be totally present and invested in what someone is saying and not check out and let your mind wander while they go on and on in detail, sometimes for long periods of time, while you sit quietly, nodding, adding in an "oh, golly" or "gee, that must be tough" or just making eye contact and being there for them. I'm not a therapist, not a counselor, not a psychologist, not a psychiatrist (my brother is a psychiatrist and it exhausts him), and perhaps just because I'm a friendly open available listener, people feel comfortable sharing. And I'm a safe. What someone tells me in these times of intimacy goes nowhere but between us, so I'm trustworthy and safe. The pandemic has really changed our lives in so many large and small ways, and I think part of it is how people feel about themselves, the world, their families....are looking at life differently and confronting fears and troubles in a way they haven't had to before. I'm grateful I can be an ear. I wish I could solve all the world's problems just by listening and being there. Would it were so easy....
I hope your day is calm and peaceful, that you're loving what you're doing, and most importantly, loving yourself.