Yesterday I stumbled upon Glennon Doyle Melton’s first book “Carry On, Warrior”.
I’ve been wanting to read it for a while. And it has turned out to be one of those reads that is hard for me to put down.
Here is a passage (one of multiple) that struck me as important.
It reminded me of instances when wanting to comfort a friend amidst difficult emotions. I tend to feel somewhat helpless and awkward.
It also brought up memories of having been on the receiving end of well-meant attempts of comfort and how bereft I have felt, when in that moment of raw emotion, my counterpart, with all the best intentions, would somehow try to rationalize the pain (it does have it’s time and place and it can be a challenge to decide when that is, do you agree?). Of course I have been “guilty” of this as well. And there is no perfect way to handle a situation.
Trust your instincts.
It is super important for us to be given the chance to really feel the emotions emerging, to let them express themselves (sidenote – to an extent that is still “healthy”).
I presume one way of “training ourselves” to feel more comfortable with the discomfort of others is to first and foremost allow OURSELVES to FEEL and to VALIDATE our own feelings. As I have come to understand, the capacity we have to be present with our own feelings correlates with our ability to be present with the feelings of others.
Glennon also writes:
(…) Through our friend’s grief, we maintain in our hearts the hope that in the end, good will come of it. But we don’t say that to our friend. We let our friend discover that on her own. Hope is a door each one must open for herself.
Maybe we will be better “prepared” when we keep Glennon’s words in mind, the next time we are in the honor of sharing someone else’s raw feelings with them…
… What do you think?