17 July 2008

Validating, a validation

I have just witnessed the incredible power of validating words on a little boy beyond furious and lashing out in tremendous pain. I can't share details, but I am blown away by what can happen when you make someone feel truly heard.

It didn't take away the reasons for his anger and pain. Those are beyond my abilities, and I suspect beyond the control of those whose job it is to parent him. It didn't fix how he felt, because his feelings were real (so real) to him and no clever reasoning can take that away. It didn't fix his behaviour, because it will take a lot more listening from more important people than me to connect with this hurting soul again and make him want to change.

My heart is breaking for that family and all the problems they still have to face. But I'll never be in doubt again as to the rightness of listening to other people and trying to let them know that someone sees their hurts and anxieties. That little boy has never articulated his feelings to anyone, never had anyone who wasn't afraid of his feelings and had the time to let him let them out safely. But today, he did. I am touched to the core that I was able to give him that gift.

There are a bunch of greedy juvenile blackbirds destroying the seed cakes Jenna made and put out for them - the mother nested in our hedge and we waited until they fledged to give it a spring trim. I can't believe how noisy they are! I feel like laughing and crying at the same time. For the good and the bad, the pain and the joy, the connection and the solitude.

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