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Monday, June 20, 2011

Suffering


When others suffer, it is often best to merely listen. Sometimes it helps to talk as though whatever is causing the suffering is not happening ... not because you are deliberately ignoring its existence in the life of the other person, but because by behaving normally, you give them strength. On other occasions you might wish to offer a gentle touch or hug.

But here's the thing: going over and over whatever the problem is helps no one ... not the one who is suffering, and not you, the listener or friend or family member, because by repeating the details of the event, the one it is happening to (or has happened to) suffers all over again, and you, the friend or listener, lose your energy and it is precisely your energy that the other needs right now. But in a healthy way. In a way that does not make you lose it. Because if you feel that your energy has leaked out of you, you are no longer of any positive use to the other. (see also Emotional and Energetic Vampires).

In such a case, and before it happens, you might wish to gently remind the other that going over and over the events or the feared events serves no purpose. You will be doing more good this way than allowing a continual repetition of something that will not remedy the matter. Being a good friend or helper does not imply listening endlessly to a repetition of the pain as much as gently showing the other that even if they do not yet see the way out of the dark place in which they find themselves, they can choose to momentarily concentrate on beauty or gratitude.

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Photo Credit: Francesco Marino

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