Chris is a kind and careful listener. Because of their thoughtful questions in response to my often-meandering narrative, I knew that they had sorted the wheat from the chaff. I felt “heard.” This was so valuable to me.
Initially, I couldn’t say exactly what the outcome was that I was seeking from our series of sessions, but through sharing our respective insights, this became clearer. Chris posed their comments and questions in a way that respected my perspective while also offering something new – and usually quite helpful – for me to consider. Ultimately, thanks to Chris’ sensitive attentions, I got clearer about the nature of my spiritual path at a time when life transitions (even though very positive) had muddied the way forward.
My involvement in the Spiritual Companion group has been a very supportive and loving experience. There's deep, heart-to-heart sharing, which I am gratefully familiar with through my work with other programs. In this case, though, there is no common hardship or identity requirement for our group. It's a chance to connect with people different from me, with different life experiences. A time and place to share myself- the good, bad, and ugly- without fear of judgement.
I like that the structure of the group emphasizes compassionate listening, and specifically wards against advice giving, analyzing, and fixing. I feel very supported in just being heard and understood, especially by people beyond my recovery and non-binary communities. This group has helped me share parts of myself that previously I have kept private to only people who I'm sure will understand. Taking these vulnerable risks have been thoroughly rewarding. Spiritual Companionship aids my growth as a Unitarian Universalist, and supports me to continue living my best life.
Leah Billye Welburn