As mindfulness is getting practice by more and more people, that all together we are learning to turn inward and notice what is happening, with a caring heart, and stand still with the joy, the sorrows, the discomfort, who is listening to the other?
Not when she or he is talking, no, just by being present to this other, this being standing in front of us, or sitting by our side.
I have this recollecting of my grandmother who seems to just be sitting most of the time in her chair, doing nothing, mostly silent. But when I was 8 years old, the year I got quite sick after my tonsils were removed, because of some side effects, she gave me my biggest gift ever for Christmas. A high chair for my dolls. I was not happy at first because I had asked for a bed, but now when I think of it, I truly believe that this chair was a blessing. An imprint so important that my psyche was recalling it over and over as I was spending most of my day in my bed, for 8 years. The pain I was in and the exhaustion I felt day and night were keeping me there the biggest part of my day. Until the image of the chair became a desire to sit. It took me 4 years of treatments, exercises, and a perseverance I though I didn’t have to achieve this goal of mine at the time. And it took me many more years to sit without pain.
A few years later, as all the girls in my family were having lunch with my mother, – my mother had 9 children, 5 girls and 4 boys – I asked them if grandma used to give us gift at Christmas. Their unanimous answer was no. Not at all. This confirmation of something I knew made me realized that even though I was not aware of it at the time, – in fact, living in the chaos of a huge family I mostly felt the opposite -, I had really been seen and look upon.
There had been someone who was listening. Someone who cared, who took care of this being who had lost her ability to play, run, mingle with life for a while, a predicament that has become my full time reality for the last 25 years.
So now, that I have learned and practiced for many years caring mindfulness toward myself, which was needed no doubt and still will be, I know it is time for me to transfer this skill toward the others. Those beings around me, the close ones, and those who are showing up on my path for a moment or longer.
May this blessing from my grandmother become my practice from now one. May I become the one who is listening.