When I’m with new people, I love to just gather the stories. I’ve learned to say, “I bet you have a great story about that” based on whatever they’ve just shared. And guess what? They do! They really do!
If you say, “I’d love to hear that story!” and then really listen, you’ll find a special joy in it. Everyone has stories to share about their lives. When I listen to the stories of others, I learn more what it means to be human and what connects us all. I listen for wisdom, for beauty, for awe, and for healing. I listen for joy and humor. I listen to dignify the life in front of me and to honor whatever they need to share by giving my full attention. That’s what I’m learning and continue to practice.
If you gather the stories, your heart will leave full.