I have a friend who is going through a tough time at the moment.
And it’s made me very aware of my desire to improve my listening skills, and also to provide more comfort and wisdom – in this specific situation, and also future situations.
It’s easy to get caught up in worrying how to address someone’s suffering….. what advice to give, and the fear of either giving the wrong advice, or just not providing the level of comfort that we would like to, and not being able to relieve their pain.
I’ve come to realise though that what a person who is suffering most needs is our presence.
What they most need is someone who will “walk alongside” them in their suffering.
And the level of comfort that we can provide to them along the way is largely a reflection of how we are.
“How we are” is influenced by our perspective on life. Our experiences of joy and suffering. How we have addressed those in our own lives. And how they have changed us.
How we are is also largely dependant on our ability to sit with our fears. Our fears of inadequacy and the expectations we place upon ourselves. And then release these fears and expectations.
And ultimately remain compassionate, loving and receptive towards the other person.