Sprouts and Growth

8:37 AM Edit This 20 Comments »
Just so you know, nothing grew overnight.

Hrmph.

I don't talk about my part time job very much on the blog. It would be bad. It's like with people's lives and stuff. I do counseling with people who have pending felony drug charges. Not cool to share that kind of info, eh?

But I do want to tell you what it's doing to ME. Last week, I had a woman share something very, very painful with me. And as she sat there apologizing for her tears, I handed her a box of kleenex and assured her that crying would be more than appropriate for the situation. I was stunned. In awe. Of the privilege I was being given. To share someone's pain. So intimate. And raw. So real. And she was sharing it with ME. ME. The person who, on more occasions than I care to admit, still thinks she's an utter failure at life.

I always tell people that there are some people who can sit with you in your pain and people who cannot abide it. I am one of those people who can. And it shocked me. The privilege of experiencing those moments. I had no idea. And it humbled me in a way I have not been for a long time. What a gift that is.

Cowgirl talks about what it's like to work in hospice all the time. Sharing those very private moments with people. And as we were helping Dirty Ben move into his new apartment, I said to her, "It happened." And she smiled and grabbed my hand and said, "Don't ever forget how that feels, Kate. Hang onto it. It's such a gift." And I knew then, that I wasn't making it up. That it was real. And right. And part of the reason I'm still here after all the time I spent trying to die.

20 comments:

Jeff D'Antonio said...

Listening and sharing in the pain of others can simultaneously drain the life out of you and fill you up, while giving you a sense of purpose and fulfillment unlike anything else you can do in this world.

Isn't it wonderful to discover your purpose, and to find that you really are good at it?

saratogajean said...

Awesome about your experience.

Too bad about your garden, though. Jack and the Beanstalk was a LIE. That shit does not grow overnight.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

It takes a certain kind of person who can actively listen to someone else. It takes a person who is able to set aside their own lives and really listen to what's going on in someone else's life. The fact you're able to now do it shows that you're at a point in your life where you can set it aside on behalf of someone else. And that, my friend, is an amazing thing.

Summer said...

I think you were put on the planet for this. You're very easy to talk to.

Holly said...

I want you to know you had this gift in HS too, my dear.

And I think it's awesome that other people get to experience the peace you bring. Not sure you ever think of yourself that way - but when you can listen and be the strength in the room during all the chaos these people experience. It is peace.

carrster said...

That's awesome, Kate. I kind of got a bit choked up reading your post. I'm so proud of you.

BrianAlt said...

Amen!

artemisia said...

This is BEAUTIFUL. I am so proud of you, and very, very happy for you.

clearness said...

I have a hard time not bawling my eyes out when my kids cry for the first or eleventy billionth time of the day............over piddle things too.

I'm very glad there are people out there who can listen to people tell their stories. good job!

Malaise Inc said...

It is an awesome weight to bear. I am not sure how you can do it.

LiLu said...

You are seriously one of the most amazing people I know, chica.

The Good Cook said...

Kate,

No one is a failure at life. There are just some people who give up on life. Sometimes it's just that hard.

You know that, right? My favorite quote, one that is kind of like a mantra to me is, "I did the best that I knew how; when I knew better, I did better" - Maya Anjelou

I'm glad you are discovering [finally] your worth and your gift. I bet it was always there, just waiting for you to "know better and do better". Blessings.

Now about that garden, if there is anything that can teach patience, it's a garden planted from seed.

Keep watching for the miracle, it will come!

buffalodick said...

Good for you! I was in sales, and ended up listening to more personal problems, as a lot of folks trusted me..I'm a great talker, who knows when to listen...

justme said...

this is amazing. i feel that way every time i have counseled someone through a hard time. it is such an HONOR to be there, that moment, isn't it? it is the one thing that draws me back, time and again

Ink Spiller said...

A friend and I spoke last night about how the world can be such a cold place. It makes those who have compassion and empathy for others so very, very important.

I think that being able to share difficult moments with others is not only a gift to them but also a gift to oneself. To me it feels like the ultimate purpose.

We were not meant to go it alone.....

Shelley said...

You have a gift and I'm glad you are sharing it with people who really need you. Thanks for being there.

justsomethoughts... said...

to recognize the reason.

very eloquently put.

SoccerMom said...

What a tough job. I could never do it.
I can barely manage my own personal issues.

But to help someone else thru theirs,it would just be like the blind leading the blind for me.

Jen said...

Wow. It's such a great feeling to be able to help others, even if it's just by being there and listening. Good for you!

kilax said...

I need a friend like you :)