Yesterday, I saw in front of my eyes a person who shared with a small group what they were going through. Members of the group were trying to be helpful by sharing with this person things they thought should be done. All of them in the group knew this person well.
What was very interesting, as this person told their story, I could sense that problem solving was not what they were interested in. Nor did they share their story to be told by others what they should do.
Rather the story was being told to connect, to vent, and to simply be reassured that things will be ok. It was not about trying to find solutions. This was a moment of confessing a tired heart and looking for a moment’s rest. Where the strength that this person had was so strong and had been working so hard that there now was a minute of doubt and weakness.
We all have moments like these. Where we feel trapped. Where everything we have tried does not seem like enough. Tomorrow has no shape or form because nothing seems possible.
Understanding both the power and the frailty within us when we get here is so important when hearing others describe these types of feelings. When our humanity undresses us yet gives us the courage to openly share what is so painful in our heart.
At times like this a simple hug, a reassurance that they will be ok, and a silent mouth with an active ear are the powerful gifts that we must share with this person in need. For there is no darker place to be alone, together with this most powerful unstated need of being connected, that we must always remember when listening to another person’s pain and struggle during their evident moment of weakness.