When I think back to when I first entered the rooms, I see I had no empathy. I judged everyone at first. I truly was a lost soul.Little by little, I heard words I could relate to. I would idolize who ever was speaking. Still, I wasn't identifying from my heart, listening with my heart, but I was making progress toward listening with just my heart.
I guess my heart was so buried, it took my nearly four years to get through the steps. While I was working on them, I heard more and more of the whole person. I even had empathy here and there - no hostages were taken. Just the unspoken understanding that I knew just for a moment or two that they were coming from the same pain I had known. And I settled in. without words, and very gently, in connecting to them.
Over time I grew more aware of my heart and my feelings. I was even able to share where exactly I was at - on the verge of being the healthiest human I had ever been.