In so many instances after my parents passed away, I felt this constant pressure to look on the bright side of things. People would always say things like, “At least you still have your siblings” or “Your parents wouldn’t want you to cry.” Even though people were trying to help, what they were really doing was making me feel as if my feelings weren’t important.
Rarely does telling someone to “look on the bright side of things” heal them. Instead, it creates this tension between you two, and causes them to feel as though they can no longer share their pain with you.
Let me better explain this. Pain is a part of us. It is inevitable to not ever feel in pain. This goes for physical pain, as well as emotional pain. To try and suppress someone's pain, is to cause this feeling to them that their pain not important. Pain must go somewhere, and the only way to release this pain, is to feel it.
Feel it with every ounce of you. Be upset. Be angry. Be sad. Whatever form your pain comes in, and as long as it is being taken care of in a way that is legal and safe for you, let it out!!
Our happiness was meant to be shared, so why does our pain have to be any different?
When someone you know is going through something that is causing them pain, whether big or small, BE THERE. Say things like, “I’m sorry this is happening. Do you want to tell me about it?” Then simply sit there and listen.
By doing that, you are validating that their feelings are meaningful, and that you support them, The last thing you want to do in this scenario is to give them advice. Giving advice makes people feel misunderstood, instead of supported.
A lot of the time, people just want to BE HEARD and ACKNOWLEDGED! They want to have someone see their pain, exactly as it is, and acknowledge that it is okay and that it is real. Our world does not provide enough validation to one another, yet that is such a wonderful gift to each other.
I know it is not always easy to bite your tongue and just listen, but this can truly be such a gift to someone that needs it. This is not a time for you to compare your pain to theirs. By comparing your pain to theirs, it says "My pain is worse than yours". Everyone has their own version of hard, Remember that everyone is walking their own path in life, and the best way for us to be there for one another is to simply stop talking and listen.
LET PAIN EXIST.