Counselors listen for a living.
We listen for the repetition of a single simple line, for the small smooth vowel held a bit longer, for fast-growing secrets, for the groaning of a moment in time. We listen for a slight gurgle before laughter, for breathless fear, for heavy tones woven between staccato notes, for impatient or mellowing sighs, for torrents behind fried words, for softness hidden in curt evasions. We listen for the timing of smiles, for wistful sounds of deeper desire, for characteristic bubbles in hope, for unspoken thoughts, and for journeys not taken.
We listen for boredom leaking out of sleepy eyes, for busyness that exceeds energy, for misshapen routines, for natural humor, for enduring pride, engaging curiosity, and courage that speaks for itself.
We listen for souls yearning to reach beyond themselves, for wisdom undergirding simple statements, for spirited sparks that brighten a disposition, and for values that give directions to the lost.
We listen and therefore we speak. If our words are not attuned to what we heard, they usually fall away. We hear those words bouncing on the floor and rolling to the corner, hiding under our chairs, or catching the sun’s glare shamefully so we can’t take our eyes off them. When we hear with an attuned ear, we can speak intentionally, to summarize, to point to another meaning, to underline the important part, to connect with more than mere words.
We listen to let others be with themselves. To foment contentment, resilience, and joyful moments of abiding attunement – the kind of peace that passes understanding. Talk therapy combines a delicate delivery of being with, taking on, tugging the new, and discovering more than we knew. In it hearts and minds are transformed in their dynamic interchange with listening ears that communicate attuned truths.