The soul cannot forgive until it
is restored to wholeness and health.
In the absence of love - how can one forgive?

With an abundance of love, starting with one's self,
forgiveness becomes a viable opportunity.
-Nancy Richards

Sunday, June 22, 2008

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear, does it make a sound?

Listening. It seems so simple, but it is so hard to do. Listening is the ultimate gift that can be given to a wounded soul. As a child I longed to be seen and heard.

When I spoke about the woundedness of my heart, body, and emotions; nobody seemed to hear what I said. I was an invisible youngster. I grew up alone and in emotional poverty, without being seen by anyone. I didn’t have a voice; therefore, it seemed I had no value.

I learned as an adult that when our childhood pain is ignored, our trauma remains fused to us until someone frees us from our bondage by simply listening to our heartache. In other words, a listener tends to the wounds that have festered, unhealed for years.

When I finally found someone to just listen, without judging, blaming, arguing, or advising, the relief I felt was indescribable. At long last, I had the opportunity to “grow from there.”

Once I felt validated, I became unstuck from the point in time that my trauma became fused to me. After feeling heard, my sole focus shifted from that of being heard to that of healing from the offense.

If a child speaks of their abuse and nobody is there to hear, do they make a sound?

We often hear stories about courageous people who “break the silence.” I’m grateful to those who have the courage to “hear.”


Tamara (TC) Staples said...


You are so right. After years of trying to heal by just telling my therapist, I only recently realized that wasn't enough. I joined a bulletin board where I could share my story, thoughts, fears, hurts with others who truly understood. This seriously put me on the healing path. Then, with my blog and being more public with my story has also added to my healing.

I think it takes are really empathetic, courageous person to hear our stories especially if they haven't been through abuse themselves. It isn't easy to listen to and to just listen and not want to "fix" it takes a really special person.

Thanks for the post.

I finished your book last night. It was so wonderful and I got so much out of it that I will include it in a separate message in a day or two. But, excellent job! I think you outdid yourself from your first book and it, too, was excellent.


Unknown said...

hI Nancy: I can't believe what I just read. I just finished blogging on my blog, and after I finished I thought I'd see how others are doing on my blog roll. Well, we must have E.S.P because I just blogged about the same thing, as usual I have written another poem about it first., but yes it is so true everything you said is so true...take care.Mary

AbuseAndForgiveness said...

Hi Tamara,

I am very happy you have found a voice that is heard! Good stuff!

I’m also glad you liked my book! Thanks for your comments.


AbuseAndForgiveness said...

Thank you Mary!

I love your poetry.

Take care,

Unknown said...

Nancy, thank you so much for your comment, and thanks for visiting my blog..Mary

Unknown said...

Nancy, thank you so much for your wonderful comment and my blog, it means alot.Mary

Azure said...

You are right on!!! I didn't truly start healing from the sexual abuse I went through as a child until I met my husband. He just listened, like you said, and he helped me to start the forgiveness process. He also helped me learn to trust again by being someone I could trust. Thank God for the listeners!

AbuseAndForgiveness said...

Dear Spring,

Thank you for stopping by. I am always touched by stories of survivors who find loving listeners. Yes, thank God for the "listeners." Thank God for your husband.

Blessings to you and your husband.