Friendship bracelet souvenirs from Puerto Rico in Spring 2015

“I’m listening”

My most cherished friendships are filled with listening. Whether it be in person, over the phone, in weekly voicemails, or through video chat, it’s all about listening. Listening to our doubts, listening to our battles won, listening to our hyperventilating cries, listening to our exhausted long day sighs, listening to our frustrations with people, listening to our current admirations, listening to our embarrassments, listening to our excited laughter, listening to our fears, listening to our encounters, listening to the silence. Listening.

The listening goes both ways. There’s a dialogue, a conversation. But it’s not a competition of whose life is more depressing. It’s an honest conversation of where we are right now in our hearts, showing each other our bumps and bruises from the week, and offering some Neosporin and a Band-Aid through a prayer, a Bible verse, a funny Instagram meme, or just letting them know that it’s going to get better.

With listening also comes patience, understanding, acceptance, and accountability. Our hearts and minds are engaging with one another in a manner that is so peaceful yet powerfully present. With listening, there is no expectation to give back the right advice. With listening, you are acknowledging your awareness of their value and worth. With listening, you let them know that you aren’t going anywhere, that you will be here to listen tomorrow whether it be a better or worse day. With listening, there is hope for each other. Burdens and joys both become shared.

With listening, friendship is relentless.

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