What if there was someone in your life who could always see your goodness?
A person who would remember (even in those moments when you couldn’t) that you are a good person, doing your very best – even if at times that ‘best’ doesn’t look or feel so fabulous?
How would that feel?
Some of us may have been lucky with our parents if they shared positive messages like this with us through our childhoods and beyond.
Some of us might have found it our partners or friends, although life still tends to throw out curve-balls (from dirty dishes to disasters) that make it hard to keep a positive perspective about someone all the time, especially if we live closely with them.
And, if we didn’t hear these things as kids, this belief in our goodness can be hard to accept as adults.
For me, this is one of the many wonderful things about Listening Partnerships. (If you are new to this special parenting tool, read What is a Listening Partner and Why Do I Need One?).
Once trust has been built between you there is a place to share the hard stuff, the messy stuff, the old hurting stuff, and know that your listener is holding safe for you the knowledge that you are good, that you are doing your best, and that you can figure out your own solutions.
It can be transformative.
Knowing that even just one person remembers that essential truth: that we are good and doing our best, can change lives.
The benefits don't stop there
By trading time with another parent, you get to return the favour and in turn hold that knowledge that THEY are good and doing their best, and able to figure out their own stuff.
The impact on our life as a parent can be immense when we make listening in this supportive way a regular practice.
It's an act that gives and gives.
Over time you get to become the parent who more often sees the goodness in your child. You begin to see past the frustrated toddler or the grouchy teen to the person inside who is also just trying to figure stuff out and needs a bit of extra love when times are hard.
What impact will that have on them today?
What about tomorrow, or next year, or in decades to come when they look down with kindness at their own grumpy tot?
As a person too (even if it can be hard to remember your identity beyond ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’) the effect can be huge. The more we learn to listen in this way – to REALLY listen beyond the fluff and small talk – the more we come to realise that underneath it all, we all have common struggles. And we are all trying really, really hard.
We begin to see other people with more compassion, more understanding.
What if such a simple exchange of time could help create a world where ever more people were truly seen and known?
Wouldn’t it be amazing to live in a world where everyone knew that at least one person always saw their goodness?
What would that look like?
When we throw a pebble into a pond we don’t know how the ripples will look or where they will come to rest, but we throw the pebble anyway, just to find out.
Because the process is beautiful.
It is the same when we start experimenting with Listening Partnerships. We may not know how it will go, or whether it’s for us. We have no idea what the impact will be. But give it a go and you'll get to watch those ripples.
It is a beautiful process.
Are you ready to try it for yourself?
FREE GUIDE TO LISTENING: How does listening work? Learn how to listen effectively, how to use a listener’s attention to overcome challenge in our free guide. Get it here.
And join our free Parent's Connect group on Facebook to find community and parents seeking listening partners.
Lara Zane is a London-based, Certified Hand in Hand Instructor and mum to two children. A former teacher with a love of neuroscience, Lara's areas of special interest and experience include working with children who are highly sensitive, spirited, intense, anxious or aggressive and those who show signs of giftedness/HLP, learning or sensory differences. Connect with Lara on Facebook at Hand in Hand Parenting With Lara Zane