I'm sharing this because of my personal encounter with a few patients with life-limiting illnesses last week and had a discussion on subjects related to end-of-life. Although all of them said they are prepared to face death, I do hear their grievances and feel their pain. I often questioned myself what have I got to offer at such a time? Is my compassion enough?
I found and immediately learn from 'Dancing With Grief' taken from the Kitchen Table Wisdom by Rachel Naomi Remen.
“The healing of our present woundedness may lie in recognizing and reclaiming the capacity we all have to heal each other, the enormous power in the simplest of human relationships: the strength of a touch, the blessing of forgiveness, the grace of someone else taking you just as you are and finding in you an unsuspected goodness.
Everyone alive has suffered. It is the wisdom gained from our wounds and from our own experiences of suffering that makes us able to heal. Becoming expert has turned out to be less important than remembering and trusting the wholeness in myself and everyone else. Expertise cures, but wounded people can best be healed by other wounded people. Only other wounded people can understand what is needed, for the healing of suffering is compassion, not expertise.”
“The greatest gift we bring to anyone who is suffering is our wholeness.
Listening is the oldest and perhaps the most powerful tool of healing. It is often through the quality of our listening and not the wisdom of our words that we are able to effect the most profound changes in the people around us… Our listening creates sanctuary for the homeless parts within the other person. That which has been denied, unloved, devalued by themselves and by others. That which is hidden.
In this culture the soul and the heart too often go homeless.”
Listening creates a holy silence. When you listen generously to people, they can hear truth in themselves, often for the first time. And in the silence of listening, you can know yourself in everyone. Eventually you may be able to hear, in everyone and beyond everyone, the unseen singing softly to itself and to you.”