There are always people hurting. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Sometimes they tell you, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes it is physical, sometimes it’s emotional. Sometimes it’s obvious, but sometimes it is subtle, quiet and insidious.
No matter what it is, unfortunately, there is rarely anything you can do but love them and express that to them. They might not be in a place to actively hear it, but they will retain that. Even so, say it again. Over and over.
You can tell them they are allowed to be weak and hurt, but that they are strong for just being there. You can help them let down if they need to and you can help hold them up if they need that too.
So often, none of that feels like enough. A friend spoke last night about FEELING the sadness of a neighbor’s house fire. Not just thinking, “oh that’s so sad.” and being able to go on with your night. I can so relate to that. I am grateful to every friend that expresses hurt or frustrstion. I want to hear it. It feels GOOD to recieve that little plea. Like…hey friend, I heard that. I’m here.
But I can’t stop there. I HURT on their behalf. I feel their ache. The darkness. I wouldn’t trade this gift or ever want anyone to stop sharing, but man. I feel it. I so often wish they knew how intensely I feel them. How genuinely I just really wish I could hug them, hold them and help. Even if we have never met.
The opposite is true also. I feel their joy and happiness. I feel their success and love. It’s a beautiful thing that makes me want to jump up and down with them, but the best I can often do is text, email, tweet or share my love and support in a comment. I hope they know how genuine my words truly are.
I’m so appreciative of those that share their love, support, pain, hurt and their joy. It’s part of being vulnerable and I value that. Even if you can’t reach out and open up right now. Wherever you’re at, don’t you worry, I’ll protect that soft spot.
That’s what friends do.