The power of being heard

There’s a seismic shift that happens in me when someone says, “I hear you, I believe you. I know what you say is the truth.”

At the same time, there’s a destructive power that can shred a soul when we feel we’re not believed, when someone talks over us and clearly doesn’t want to hear what we know to be our truth.

The latter can wreck our bodies, while the former can heal.

I’m sure we’ve all experienced this, and many of you are nodding your heads. The ability to be heard is a basic human right. It’s a rudimentary need for infants who cry for food or comfort, children who try to find their place in the family and adults learning to make relationships work.

I’m happy to say that I’ve had a positive introduction to a new doctor by his saying he believes that I have an emotional form of diabetes. Other doctors have put me in a box of Type 1 or 2 even though I clearly don’t fit in either. And I had a chat with a friend last evening who made of point of telling me, “I love your posts and I believe in everything you say about your illness being connected to your childhood experiences.”

It helps that she’s a credible source, a registered clinical counsellor. We met while studying mediation together at the Justice Institute of B.C. — we connected over our love of horses. But life has rolled on and we’re on separate but related paths. I’m happy we’re still in touch with each other. I need support.

It was a talk about Christmas, which is 10 days away, that brought the conversation around to family strife. I spend Christmas alone each year, and I don’t say that to draw pity. It’s just a fact of life that I’m not close to my siblings. With one I’m grateful to have somewhat of a relationship. While it’s not close, it’s better than the other where we don’t talk at all. I’ve tried repeatedly to connect with them but keep getting knocked backward. I don’t know where the hostility originates and it’s especially bewildering that this sibling is in a profession of helping people.

It all connects with today’s theme of feeling heard. I want to take this a step further, by creating an internal connection with our own bodies, developing an ear for when something is not right inside. I can’t always feel those stress responses that knock my glucose out of whack for three days, but I’m trying to pick up the signs of them before they gather steam. I’m aware of mishaps with the cash register (I’m not a numbers person, more a writer), where I’d get upset that I punched in the wrong amount of cash I’d been given. But instead of thinking uh oh, I must be in a stress response, I now laugh them off. The former is a child-like fear of doing the wrong thing. I’m an adult, and as long as I give the customer the correct change, there’s absolutely no problem. I rewire that old habit of turning the event into a stressor.

It’s all about awareness. And being aware of our body’s responses can be very, very difficult. I’m learning to be patient.

Thanks for listening to me. I appreciate every “like.” Do you know I have 40 followers now? Incredible.

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