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I’ve just started a Community Services course which made me reflect back, and see the threads of compassion that have woven throughout my life – and realised that Life is a circle.

One of my first memories of knowing what career I would like to do was when I was 16. I would have liked to have been a Social Worker but that entailed going to Year 12, and onto University – which I was not prepared to do as I hated school and couldn’t wait to finish Year 10.

At that time I had befriended an Aboriginal girl who had been plucked from the high unemployment area of Sydney’s Western suburbs, and given an office job in a Government Department near the beach suburb of Cronulla in Sydney’s South –  where I lived.

It was a very white Anglo-Saxon area and my friends were asking what I was doing talking to an aboriginal girl. I was confused at my friend’s snobbish behaviour, but was not going to be swayed by peer pressure to behave like them.

This girl seemed at first suspicious about my friendliness, until she realized I was genuine about wanting to know her, then she let me into her life. She was only one year older than me and had a toddler that had been given up for adoption, which she had access to occasionally. I met him on one of his access visits and was in awe at the strength and courage she had.

I had always been a confidant to friends at school, willing to help when needed, but encountering this girl that was distrusting, and a mirror opposite of my life, made me aware of the injustices in life.

I wrote this poem straight from the heart last month and recognized I feel the same now as when I was 16 – as I could have written this to her.

I Will Listen to What You Say

I will listen to what you say
as your deepest thoughts interest me

I will listen to what you say
as your honesty awakens in me a deep reverence for truth

I honour your courage and the sacred trust you have given me
to share your disappointments
your joys and your sorrows.

I am here to give you the gift of acceptance.
Not judgements,
not conditions,
just pure listening to what you say.

Thank you for sharing your being with me
nothing you say can alter my unconditional love for you

For we are all beings of light
we are all beings of love.

With life’s experience behind me I now find myself where I was 30 years ago, wanting to work in the community, but this time I’m willing to apply myself to make it a reality. Life is a Circle!

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