How is it that people remember one’s gifts when they need a sounding board? That person may be tucked away or virtually forgotten until….until, a crisis arises. A crisis? Yes, I fear. A crisis. They do come.
“Life is like the oceans’ waves that ebb and flow. The storms of life surely come and they surely go.”
And when they do, people need to let it out. They need someone who will listen. Really listen and not just go ‘uh-huh.’ They need that quiet, one-on-one attention as they spill the beans. My cousin, Johnella, called it dumping. They need someone who is patient, compassionate and caring to simply listen.
When the trouble button is tapped, people go here and there telling their tales of woe. They talk to this person and to that person but as The Rolling Stones sang, they Can’t Get No Satisfaction. Even after talking and talking, the pain lingers. The anguish only seems to surmount. And then, the light bulb goes on and they say, “Oh yeah. I know who will hear me out.”
It is like that old commercial when the older brothers needed someone to taste a certain food that they did not like or want. They said, “Give it to Mikey.” Little innocent Mikey was the younger brother, still in a high chair, who gladly took the unwanted food.
Case and point? That is what the heavy-hearted do. In their fog, they slowly remember the listener with the patience of Job. They then take their dump truck filled pain, loss, disappointment, heartbreak, outrage and disenchantment, to name a few and back it up into that trusted person’s driveway.
They flip that lever that releases the back of the truck in an upward motion and all of their sorrows tumble to the ground. They walk away breathing easier and feeling lighter after having let it go from their minds and hearts. It has been aired. The burdens have been lifted.
The dumping has left both the listener and the speaker feeling an airy lightness because the weight has been tossed to the wind. It is always good to have a reliable place to serve as a landfill.
The listener is wise enough to keep that magical extinguisher handy for times such as these. This silent reminder says, “It’s no thing on me. It’s not mine. Thank goodness.” They can simply go back to whatever was happening before the truck came and breathe knowing that as Euripides said, “Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness.”
Lynn M. August 9, 2015