No one likes seeing a loved one disappointed or hurt. And our natural tendency is to rush in and fix whatever is troubling them – putting a smile back on their face. But everything doesn’t need fixed in order to be cared for.
In fact, sometimes our efforts to help might actually make matters worse.
For instance, some days were in a funk or just bummed about how something turned out. While not necessarily pleasant, we don’t want our experience dismissed or minimized.
And attempts to “fix it” prematurely can add insult to injury. Not only do we feel missed regarding the original experience, but now we also have to contend with the well-meaning efforts to be fixed.
There is a place for disappointment and grief throughout life. And these rainy days are best to be simply honored. Without time in this soil of melancholy we’re robbed of the soul work needed to grow.
To honor is simply to acknowledge and affirm, to sit with and witness what the other is going through. This respects their experience without needing to fix it.
To be sure, this is a simple but not always easy thing to do.
It makes us uncomfortable to see others suffer. And while part of this is our true heart of compassion for them, many times our efforts to fix the situation is more about managing our own anxieties than caring for the other.
It takes a lot of inner resolve to serve by simply being present and not automatically trying to fix.
In time, there might be more to do, especially if we see our loved one getting stuck. But our best response initially is often just to listen and be with.
Help whenever you can. But remember, everything doesn’t need to be fixed.