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"Fixing Things"

“Our dominant culture is driven to “fix” things. Everything must improve; all problems must be resolved.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Active listening is being attentive to the basic meaning and the feelings in a statement made by another…Active listening is not judgmental or critical or patronizing or advice-giving. Active listening does not try to fix problems. It is simply being fully present to the other as the other speaks…Active listening absorbs the meanings and feelings behind the other’s words and demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the other, that we actually heard what was said… Listening is love delivered.” (Albert S. Rossi)

“When our child comes to us with frustration—no matter what age they are—we need to listen to them. To really listen means we give them our undivided attention at that moment or set a time when we can do so. Although it is tempting as parents to try to fix their problems, there are instances when this is not helpful and other times where no matter our best efforts, we can’t make it better. We need to be mindful of our want to fix things because it can often get in the way of just listening to our child. If they are angry, sad, or scared we shouldn’t try to talk them out of it—we should just be present with them and their feelings, loving them no matter what. When we listen, we are helping our children sort out their world and make sense of things that are confusing, scary, and difficult.” (Melissa Tsongranis)

“Sometimes all we can do, all we should do, to love and support our family, friends, or anyone in need, is to simply be present, to just offer ourselves - no words, just be there. Practicing the simple ministry of presence seems to be a challenge for many of us who want to fix a situation or share wisdom and experience concerning something similar we went through. But it is often the simplicity of our loving Christ-like presence that brings more comfort and healing than anything else.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“Sharing another’s suffering is one of the most intimate things we can do. It is easy to be with another in their joy. It is a much harder task to be with someone as they cry out in pain or misery or suffer in silence as their spirit is ripped to shreds and they feel that the light will never come out again. So often, when we see someone else in pain, we want to fix things. We want to make the pain go away. Sometimes, we can. Other times, we have nothing to offer but our presence. It is important to realize how much a gift that can be.” (Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur)

Quote of the Day


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