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“It takes great courage to love. Though it is often perceived as effortless, anyone who has loved would maintain that it is anything but that. By its nature, love requires the risk of rejection, overcome barriers of resistance, surmount our weekenesses and fully utilize our resources. If we are rejected, we will need courage to rise up and try again. If we are hurt, we must have the confidence that we will heal. If we are desolate, we must muster up human dignity to prevail. With the courage to meet whatever hindrances we may encounter along the way, we become more than just ‘re-actors’ to our lives; we become the actors who determine their courses.” ~Leo Buscaglia, Born For Love: Reflections on Loving

Listen, LISTEN
When you listen you affirm me
but your listening must be real
sensitive and serious
not looking busily around
not with a worried or distracted frown
not preparing what you are going to say next
but giving me your full attention.

You are telling me i am a person of value
important and worth listening to
one with whom you will share yourself.

I have ideas to share
feelings which i too often keep to myself
deep questions which struggle inside me for answers
I have hopes only tentatively acknowledged
which are not easy to share
and pain and guilt and fear i try to stifle

These are sensitive areas and a real part of me
but it takes courage to confide in another

I need to listen too if we are to become close
How can i tell you i understand?
I can show interest with my eyes or an occasional word
attuned to pick up not only spoken words
but also the glimmer of a smile
a look of pain, the hesitation, the struggle
which may suggest something as yet too deep for words

So let us take time together
respecting the others freedom
encouraging without hurrying
understanding that some things may never be brought to light
but others may emerge if given time

Each through this listening, enriches the other
with the priceless gift of intimacy.

by Keith Pearson, Melbourne, Australia (discovered from http://eqi.org/listen.htm)

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