Avoiding fear and pain can cause them to grow stronger. The trick with fear is to go with it, to let it do it's work. Once fear has put us in touch with our inner issue it can diminish. In fact, simply acknowledging fear seems to lessen it.
The expression of our truth is an ancient action through which we actually discover our place in the world; the true shape of our being and our individuality. It is how we create firm boundaries and allow others to know who we are and what we value.
To be a deep listener, one of the first things we have to do is give up the need and the desire to give advice. Knowing answers does not require stating them; there are times when offering answers is not helpful, as when a person is in the middle of their own learning process.
Using awareness, personal responsibility and inner work to review our unskillful or frightened reactions, we become more adept at turning habitual reactions to balanced responses. These moments are very exciting and gratifying.
If we doubt that the foundation for inner work is compassion for self and self-honoring behavior, we need only remind ourselves that the opposite approach, feeling guilty or judging ourselves has never really worked.
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