If I could give you anything,

I would give you a sounding board—

A careful listener to talk to on a regular basis.

Someone who could hear you

With compassion and disinterest,

As in having nothing at stake in you,

Or in the conversation with you.

Who could help you get to the bottom of things—

Help you walk around your life,

Sizing it up,

Taking readings,

Exploring it,

Investigating it,

Poking,

Prodding,

Turning things over

Reflecting on your experience,

And on your interpretation of your experience,

Wondering about it,

Without taking it personally

Or being ashamed of it

or living to defend, justify, explain, or excuse it

for being what it is,

and not something else instead.

Who could ask:

What happened?

What do you wish had happened?

What did you do in response to what happened?

What do you wish you had done?

What’s happening now?

What do you think needs to happen in response?

These questions would do for starters,

But they just open the door.

You need to walk through that door

With someone who can listen you

To the truth of who you are,

And how things are with you—

Which is all any of us ever need to know

In order to do what needs to be done,

Which sets different things in motion,

And gives us something else to talk about.

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