Being heard is powerful and sometimes lifesaving.
I spent a couple of years working as a Samaritan, in a call centre and supporting listeners in prison. My accountant at the time, was already involved and thought I would benefit from getting involved. He was right. I learnt so much from the Samaritans, which I still find very useful, and I happily share with the team at Transform Lives.
One of the most surprising benefits was the legacy of all the callers who trusted the space that the Samaritans offer. The callers openly shared their difficulties and vulnerability with me. I rarely knew their names, but their difficulties were unforgettable. These insights have never left me. It awakened in me a poignant awareness of how vulnerable we all are.
We are not in the habit of dwelling on the precarious nature of our lives but working as a Samaritan soon reveals a more honest picture. I soon recognised that the situations that people described could happen to any of us. In my role with Transform Lives, I meet people everyday who trust us and share their difficulties and vulnerability. I know that no matter what the situation is, it could be me in their shoes. This helps me find more patience and understanding and enables me to be a better listener.
Thank you, Samaritans, for training me, for allowing me to be able to have such a life changing experience. You have helped me, and many others become better listeners.