While backpacking this weekend, we had an unexpected and scary adventure. A herd of cows was on the trail, and while cows usually are very passive and indifferent, these cows instead chose to run at us, literally running us off the road. There were several in the field blocking any option to go around the trail, and about 20 coming straight down the trail, leaving no way to stay. We headed down a hill toward a stream among thorn bushes and waited until they passed, thankful that none of them tried to come down the hill. It was truly a scary moment, we were worried and had no real vision of how it would end.
No pictures and no stories, no matter how well they are told, will truly convey what it felt like when the cows started running at us, or when they stopped to look at us. Remember this as others tell you about what they are going through. The number one thing that people want in their lives is to be heard, and to be understood. To truly hear them, you may not be able to even imagine what it was like. But, that does not mean you cannot understand them. You can still get a great description of what it felt like in that moment, and what it felt like afterward.
Focus on the feelings. When really interacting with somebody, that is how to truly understand what a person is experiencing, and it’s a great way to connect.