Monday, November 7, 2016

Sitting with a friend in pain


At times, you may find yourself with a friend who is upset, falling apart, confused, hopeless, sad, and afraid. Nothing is making sense anymore, they are overwhelmed, and the emotions are unrelenting.
You are unsure how to help.
While their pain may trigger you, and set into motion an avalanche of urgent, anxious, fixing energy, a doorway has appeared.
Slow way down. Ground awareness in your body and listen. Not just to the words they are saying, but to the secret request emerging from their heart. Perhaps they are not asking for you to fix, cure, or even "heal" them. For they are not broken.
Join together with them, get on their side, as you proclaim together that pain is not pathology. That confusion is not pathology. That hopelessness is not pathology. That sadness, grief, not knowing, and feeling down are perfectly valid and not evidence that they have failed and are unworthy of love.
This may not be the moment for you to provide an "answer," but to hold them near as you confront the vastness of the question together.