Few days back I had gone on a hiking. The route was full of uneven terrain. One moment while travelling through uneven surface I slipped and landed on my hand. Blood came out from the injury. I was in Pain. Rushed to the nearby health clinic where that wound was cleaned and bandaged. I returned home where I rested in silence of home.
I would often be tempted to look at the wound and check whether it had healed or not. While doing the self-dressing of the wound with antiseptic I would often think about all the things I could do to speed up the healing process. Despite all my temptation and wishing the healing followed its own path. Slowly some red tissue appeared in the floor. After few weeks a hard crust appeared with which the pain decreased. In about a month time my entire function of that hand was normal.
Weeks after that incident I happened to have a very intimate conversation with an old friend of mine. He was my childhood friend. We had very beautiful memories of our childhood. We used to talk on phone every few weeks but lately we never had a chance to meet.
During conversation we talked about our life. At that moment he shared about the break up he recently had with his girlfriend. I could feel that he was very depressed about the breakup and at the same time he was happy that he could talk about it with someone else.
While he was sharing his emotional wound I was talking about the wound I suffered while hiking. The wound now healed but still the scar was prominent.
I listened to him thorough all his frustrations. He was complaining about how god could be so unjust to him. While he was passing his frustrations I was trying to show him how lucky he was. I tried to tell him that whatever happens happens for a reason and there is lot more good in store for him.
All my desire to show him good stuff were in vain. Like a compass pointing north I thought at that moment he was pointing towards negativity and unhappiness. After a good deal of talking I noticed that whatever I said mattered no more. So I went on to just listen.
Active listening of few hours I could see his face lighten up. During this time I did not pass any judgment. I did not tell him to do this or that. I did not try to show him the good side of life. It was as if he himself got my message without me having to say anything.
It looked like he was healed. I think all this time he was wanting someone to listen to him. He was not wanting anyone who would pass judgment. He did not need me to tell what is good or what is bad. Somehow deeper down he knew what was good but he was not able to see.
Then I noted some similarity with the physical wound and the emotional wound of my friend.
They just needed condition of being healed. The physical wound needed to be cleaned up, made immobile. It did not want to oppose the two segment of skin together. It needed to be cleaned free of bacteria but at the same time needed to be aerated. In my desire to speed up the wound recovery I would open up the dressing and see how the wound is looking like now. Repeated opening up actually hampered the healing process.
My friend was not looking for solution. Least he needed was any judgment I give upon his condition. What he was looking for really is someone to be with him. He needed someone to listen to him. In this case my first impulse was to pass judgment and label his state as good, bad right wrong. In doing so the real thing which actually needed to be communicated was lost somewhere. The real need got buried under the powerful currents of impulses.
I believe that any person has within himself tremendous amount of healing potential. But such potential is trapped within so deep that it needs real courage to go out and reach. Many of our attempt to do so get sidelined by our mind and its powerful programs. The desire to heal others is not sufficient. We should be actually aware of hindrances within our own mind. In order to reach someone we need to clear off the obstacle which we built around ourselves