Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Are You Being Heard?

A visitor to Jerusalem goes to the Wailing Wall.  He sees a rabbi there, praying.  He asks the rabbi what he is praying for.  
  "Peace in the middle east," the rabbi says.  
  "How long have you been praying?" our visitor asks.
  "Every day for 25 years!"
  "And how is it going?  Do you think we are making progress?" our friend asks.
  "It's like talking to a wall!"  The rabbi exclaims.

I've noticed that one of the most powerful aspects of mediation is simply to be listened to.  

Often when a couple has been fighting, they each simply feel that they are misunderstood.  So it can be very validating - and perhaps healing - when I listen deeply to that point of view.  And it sends a message to the other person that that point of view is worth taking the time to understand.  

The quality of the mediation has a lot to do with the quality of the listening.  It's hard to explain that, but I really believe it is true.


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