I picked up a couple of friends from the ferry today. I was looking forward to seeing them.
“I need to tell you about my mother,” Lisa said as she went into the back room to put on her bathing suit.
“Ok,” I said. “I’m all ears.” Lisa had listened to me through a painful relationship a few years ago, and I was happy to return the favor.
We situated ourselves outside on my deck. The sun was shining and the breeze was wonderful. It wasn’t too hot. It was the perfect temperature.
“My mother is driving me crazy. She calls me all the time,” she began.
Lisa poured her heart out. Her father died a few years ago and her mother is now alone. She resents her father for spoiling her mother, her mother for being helpless, and her siblings for being obnoxious and leaving the burden on her.
“I’m sorry for dumping my drama on you,” she said at one point.
“You’re not,” Valerie and I both said. “Keep going.”
And she went on. And on and on. She cried. And she ended up saying she felt like a terrible person for feeling this way.
“It’s completely understandable,” Valerie and I both said.
“The big questions,” I said. “Can you forgive your mother? And can you forgive yourself?”
She did. And by the end she felt better, even though the situation is still the same.
Because she got to get it out. And be heard without judgement.
And she felt free. And all we had to do was listen.
And I learned that listening that way is like a vacation. I don’t have to fix anything or say anything. I can just get it. I can relax.
And, the other person feels better having gotten out what’s bothering then, and then has room to create something new.
Lisa obviously loves her family, but when all she could feel was resentment and anger, it was hard to show it.
Not that she’s “purged,” she can be free to enjoy them again.
We went on to have a great day on the deck, and Lisa went home way happier then when she came.
And I say, “Sharing is the pathway to freedom.”