A loudly barking dog on one side (but thankfully, not RIGHT next to us), a screaming baby on the other side (again, not right next to us), and a weather forecast that has taken a decided downturn… but STILL there’s an atmosphere of Holiday. That’s because I’ve been able to get so much of the things done, that always get put off in favour of other priorities!
And with that comment, the sun IS peeking out!
Story Listening. Really, this is kind of basic, if important. People will often tell a story, real or make-believe, in which they are “cloaking” the things that are on their heart & mind. As their trust deepens, they will go from telling an abstract story, to something more concrete. The reminder is not to get carried away with the story, but to hear what their hidden message/truth is. Also, you should listen for the “polarities” in the story–the opposites that will give you a clue to their inner struggle; plus, listen for common themes.
Before going on to the next section, a sum of Listening Skills is in order:
- Creative Questions–based on the speaker’s incomplete thoughts
- Neuro Linguistics–listening for and responding in the speaker’s dominant mode
- Reflecting Back–or “Paraphrase”–in your own words (NOT parroting) what you’ve heard
- Perception Check–making a guess about what the speaker is feeling (stem e.g. “I sense…”+feeling word+”right?”-type question)
- Story Listening–identifying the hidden struggle
Now I’m just skimming through some notes on suffering, to pick out a few quotes:
- suffering is one thing that unites mankind
- the hope is that there is more to life than this earth
- “Life is not a puzzle to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.” (ask “What?” instead of “Why?”)
- “Only in coming to my own inadequacy am I able to catch sight of the inexhaustible sufficiency of God.”
- “Knowing the Giver far surpasses whatever the Giver gives.”
- Suffering will not necessarily produce illumination. It can go either way.
- God is always present, whether or not we “feel” Him.
- Don’t be obsessed with the problem, BUT don’t be in denial either.
At the end of these notes on suffering, are some very good points about praying/waiting for a miracle:
- Don’t practice wishful thinking (superficial)
- Don’t try to psyche yourself out. (positive attitude good, but be realistic)
- Don’t make bargains with God (this is not the relationship you want)
- Recognize the sufficiency of God.
- Look into scripture.
I THINK I may be able to finish off these notes tomorrow, which would be good, since it’s our last day of the holiday! :(
Walk to Rivendell: We begin our 10th day from Weathertop, and the hills are higher and steeper.