Monday, March 7, 2011

I Hear People

This is written for
Imagine you are meeting someone for the first time. You want to tell them about yourself.

Instead of reciting a laundry list of what you do or where you're from, please give us a scene from your life that best illustrates your true self.

People tell me things. 
Things they don't tell their mothers. Or husbands. 
They say hello. There is small talk. 
Then, they tell me about their problem. Or the fight with a spouse/parent/child. 
They tell me about the bad thing they did a long time ago. 
They tell me about their wildest dream. 

I don't ask them about the secrets in their lives. But, they think I need to know. They think I can help. 

I can barely help myself most days. 
 However, if I know a resource, a phone number, or if I can say the right thing?  I do that. 

Sometimes, I have to be careful of my reaction. I don't want to hurt feelings. Or seem judgmental. 

Sometimes it seems like a strange curse. Bestowed at birth for some ancient sin I committed. 

And then...

My daughter told me a few months ago about a conversation she had with a casual acquaintance. About his problems at home. With his wife. With his kids. With his job. 

I told her "It's a gift"


  1. Being the kind of person that people can trust and talk to is a gift!
    It can also be a heavy burdeon.
    How important you must be to those people.

  2. You are so right about it being a gift! Everyone needs a "you"....though I would imagine that sometimes you could use someone as well...

  3. You must be an excellent listener! That really is a gift.

    Visiting from TRDC.

  4. that truly is a gift- and one people need so much! You must have trusting eyes and a large caring heart. It is wonderful that your gift was passed on to your daughter.

  5. This is awesome! Definitely a gift!

  6. There is something in your eyes, Renee...something that exudes comfort and safety.
    It is a gift, indeed.

  7. It is most definitely a gift to everyone that needs the comfort you can offer them. A person worthy of that sort of trust is so rare these days.

  8. I wrote on the same topic, Renee. I truly think there is just something about some people that inspires others to confide in them. I have heard the most unbelievable things from total strangers. I think part of it is being interested in them, the other is being non-judgmental.

    You have those skills in spades, my friend.

  9. It is indeed a special gift to be a person that others confide in. Strangers letting you in because they feel comfort and safety. I can think of no greater gift.

  10. Oh it absolutely is a gift. You must make people feel comfortable and safe. Truly a gift.

  11. oh yes, so it is. Such a wondrous gift. And for mothers with daughters, isn't it amazing those little moments when you suddenly realise how much you are alike, and even sometimes how much you differ. Those moments lodge in your heart. And now everytime someone shares their life with you, you will be reminded of your daughter and what you share.
    Lovely piece, great writing.

  12. oh, and I love the title by the way.

  13. I think you're right, it is a gift. It is a gift to be a friend, a shoulder, an ear. I also agree with Jessica, "You must make people feel comfortable and safe."

  14. It really is a gift.
    Nice job. I came by from TRDC...

  15. It IS a gift. That sort of thing happens to me all the time. Even over blogging and twitter!

    And it IS a gift. Absolutely. I am glad we both have it, and that I have met another kindred spirit :) Subscribing to your blog!

  16. I think truly open people have a light--an aura if you want to call it that--around them. You're must be really bright.

    My gift is a little more pedestrian. People always ask me for directions :)

  17. The best word that I have for this post? Is clarity. Your message is poignant. I know something important about you. And it makes me want to know more. Well done!

  18. I know Renee in real life. This IS her.