Thank you for joining me for day 21 of our superpower celebration! Today, I am so proud to introduce to you a guest writer with a wonderful, youthful perspective. My lovely niece, Ciara Mielke is a 22 year old recent graduate of the University of Washington who majored in Medical Anthropology and Global Health.
In her limited years, she has shown unlimited potential. She displays a deep desire to make a positive difference in our world and actively seeks ways to do just that. She has dozens of amazing superpowers that I love and admire, but one of my favorite things about her is our superpower today.
by Ciara Mielke
If you’re anything like me, you hate seeing other people hurt. You do your best to kiss scraped knees, doctor head colds with home remedies, and encourage retail therapy when necessary. You have answers to everything, a word of advice for everyone, and you love helping wherever you are needed.
But do you ever have those friends/grandmas/siblings that you just have absolutely no idea how to help? Their problems seem too big, your expertise suddenly seems too small, and you realize that you not only have no idea what to do, but no idea what to say?
I have been having those moments a lot lately.
Today, however, we are here to celebrate the fact that just being there to listen to what people have to say is an incredibly important superpower.
When I say listening, I don’t mean the supersonic variety that allows you to hear long distances and decipher state secrets. What I really mean is the ability to sit down and hear, really hear, what someone has to say.
You don’t have to relate. You don’t need to have a witty, related story to counter with. You just have to give your time and realize how truly powerful that can be.
So, today, I encourage you to use your beautiful ears and consider doing nothing for your favorite people. Just listen.
Here are some tips to help your ears hear their best:
- Consider making a mealtime at home “unplugged” – no phones or TVs allowed.
- Invite a friend to coffee at a cute spot instead of a movie this time.
- Listen to an inspirational TED Talk together and hear your loved one’s opinion on it.
- Go for a hike as a way to catch up. The words will flow and the endorphins will too!
I am so grateful to Ciara for sharing her thoughts on listening. I remember one specific conversation I had with her a few years back. We were talking about some tough decisions she needed to make. She had the opportunity to take a mission trip to Haiti and then to serve an internship at Elevation Church in North Carolina. But she was worried about delaying her college education to take part in these heartfelt callings and was conflicted.
I told her that in life, there will be countless opportunities to nurture your ambitions, but there seems to be far fewer opportunities to nurture our souls. Take the time to follow your heart when you’re young, I said. And she listened. Because she is one of the best listeners I know. Probably because she listens with more than just her ears. She listens with her whole heart.
And listening is most certainly a superpower worth celebrating!
*This is the 21st post in a 31 day series called “Celebrating your Superpowers”. Catch the series from the beginning by clicking here and you will be directed to an introductory post containing links to each day’s topic. Join me in celebrating your superpowers this month!