2.4 Please Listen !

When I ask you to listen to me

 and you start giving me advice,

you have not done what I asked.

 When I ask you to listen to me

 and you begin to tell me why

 I shouldn’t feel that way,

 you are trampling on my feelings.

 When I ask you to listen to me

 and you feel you have to do something

 to solve my problem,

 you have failed me,

 strange as that may seem.

 Listen ! All I ask is that you listen.

Don’t talk or do – just hear me.

 Advice is cheap; 20 cents will get

 you both Dear Abby and Billy Graham

 in the same newspaper.

And I can do for myself; I am not helpless.

 Maybe discouraged and faltering,

 but not helpless.

When you do something for me that I can

 and need to do for myself,

 you contribute to my fear and


But when you accept as a simple fact

 that I feel what I feel,

 no matter how irrational,

 then I can stop trying to convince you

 and get about this business

 of understanding what’s behind

 this irrational feeling.

 And when that’s clear, the answers are

 obvious and I don’t need advice.

 Irrational feelings make sense when

 we understand what’s behind them.

 Perhaps that’s why prayer works, sometimes,

 for some people -because God is mute,

 and he doesn’t give advice or try

 to fix things.

 God just listens and lets you work

 it out for yourself.

 So please listen, and just hear me.

 And if you want to talk, wait a minute

 for your turn – and I will listen to you.