Human growth occurs most favorably in meetings when individuals reveal their struggles transparently.  Authentic open, honest and sincere communication requires “nothing held back —good or bad, we share the raw, undiluted truth of how we are feeling, of what we are going through. Honesty is a prerequisite to successful healing relationships. Love is what heals, love is what sustains, love is what cures, and love is what makes AUTHENTIC TALK therapy successful. Unfortunately, a common problem with most relationships is the false response of: “I am fine, everything is fine”. Love and compassion is something we “feel” for another being who is hurting.  CompassionDr. Scott Peck defined love as the willingness to go out on a limb, to truly involve oneself and struggle at an emotional level with another in a relationship for the purpose of shared growth. To love God with all your heart and soul, to love God above all else ~ requires authenticity and honest communication with our invisible but very tangible Lord and Savior. Love is FELT when we FEEL SAFE enough to be ruggedly HONEST. LOVE LISTENS and COMMUNICATES ~ GOD IS LOVE. Love is more than acts, deeds, words, or feelings. To love is to verbally share the unseen contents of our heart. Our fears, our honest prejudices, our reservations, our hopes, our dreams, our disappointments are SAFE with GOD and hopefully with a friend. God does not judge us for how we feel. He knows the TRUTH contained in our hearts and loves us anyway. To love another human being is to trust that whatever we share will be accepted without judgment. It is through our willingness and openness to communicate and listen to someone that we most readily demonstrate the truth or quality of our love and caring. It is impossible to have much love, compassion and understanding for another unless we are in touch with the transparent content of their heart. There is a difference between friend and acquaintance.  People you met once upon a time, but your communication has only ever been a polite greeting,  this peep is a casual acquaintance.   Our true friends would know our current strengths, struggles and weaknesses.  If someone simply LIKES a post on Facebook, that person is a passing acquaintance.  If you have three close friends, you are highly blessed. All humans long to be known, understood and loved as they are, by family and at least one close friend with whom transparent raw sharing, and acceptance can always be expected.  My two close girlfriends in California validate my existence, they accept my quirky impulsivity, they remind me of my gifting,  and they encourage me on bad days. Most importantly, they listen without judgment and therefore, they are able to pray for me specifically.  Listening is the most IMPORTANT skill of life and it is the most beneficial psychological and spiritual process that moves us to evolve, change, grow and learn. My girlfriends give me FREE therapeutic listening, and I gladly return their grace with a willing attentive ear.  INTENTIONALLY, we make time for our necessary sharing of the hard spots, the victories, the joy and our struggles.  Being VULNERABLE is scary because it requires the very essential component of trust. “ I trust you will love me even though I share this truth of whats going on inside right now” With empathetic listening~ true intimacy is created. We directly reach over barriers that separate one soul from another. We bridge the sense of separation that most people feel. Even the best Christian slips into worry, has fears, and secret doubts.  Talking it out with a close friend is to be obedient…”Confess your sins to one another so you can be healed.”  When we give voice to what persistently whirls about in our minds, while God listens, and our dear friend tunes in, a certain sense of peace comes along with a renewed confidence that all is well. Because He first loved us unconditionally, we are equipped to love ourselves and others as we are loved.  Gently, with kind compassion we listen. from1000-transparency-prize-1-537x402When we risk heart-felt communication, we gain the peace of God, and we build trust with another. With eye contact as they are speaking, we show a kindness that is real, warm, and sincere. To close your eyes, to look away while a speaker, pastor, or friend is talking SHOWS a deep obvious disinterest in what they have to say. Authentic, pure listening is what God does when we pray. Imagine having a personal Mount Rushmore of four spirit filled people …Composite image of Mount Rushmore and blue sky with white cloudswho believe in you, who speak loving truth to you, who push you toward your stated goals. Include Emmanuel, God with us…or Elohim, our wonder working God who always delights in listening to you.  Now just invite three intimate friends who agree to chisel away at any doubt about your greatness while using your God given talents.  Our Father cares and comforts, through the silent sacred act of listening.  Intimacy with God or another human being is a private thing between our soul and the listening audience.  There is NO CONDEMNATION with God, and among friends.  This kind of attitude transcends any kind of barrier. Engaging in heart to heart communication always contains at least some element of risk, but NEVER with God.  Be_Still“Be still and know that I am God” and He is in the boat with us, in the storms, and in the calm…Listen for His small voice, His gentle nudge…and become willing to be transparent.  God knows all anyways, there are NO SECRETS, Jesus knows all and loves us anyway!!  I the storm, trust God, and knows that this too shall pass, but not without a lesson, not without His will that we learn from it.  The hurts of being unwanted or childhood rejections are healed when we receive unconditional love from others. When we share our own vulnerabilities, weaknesses, errors, experiences and concerns ~ magic happens and the barriers come down between our mate, our kid, our neighbor, and our hurting friends. They respond with a willingness to open up and go deep. Instead of listening deeply from the heart, the modern doctor sends a patient quickly to a medical laboratory for tests. Clinical, superficial greetings are for acquaintances, not friends or family.  Not too long ago I moved to a new town,  within a new country.  I left behind my son and two really close girlfriends. God answered my unspoken prayer and sent me one local female to fa la la with, to play and pray with.  Time spent transparently sharing your current state of heart with another compassionate soul will continue to be uplifting.  glory-of-god-picGod knows our every need and He knows that what adults, children, and all ethnic groups need more than anything is a listening heart.  Solomon asked God for a listening heart and he is known as the wisest man that ever lived. People need to FEEL and SEE that we are listening by our eye contact. Attentive listening includes gestures like pats on the back. A verbal acknowledgement that simply says “I hear what you are saying and I am here for you”  No remedies, no advice necessary. Listen as God listens. Sweetly attentive, yet silent. Full of compassion, fully tuned in.  Hallelujah, thanks for listening. “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us NOT give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another— and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25

*Mount Rushmore depicts the faces of four great US presidents – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln – On granite rock which sets 5,725ft (1745m) above sea level, in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Each face  60 ft (18.2m) high, was carved between 1927 and 1941. Who do you choose to stand with you on the solid Rock of Jesus?

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