You know what it’s like to watch someone go through a difficult time? We’ve all been there haven’t we? When someone we care deeply for is suffering, nothing seems to be going right, and you flinch in pain your self when you see the pain on their faces.
Man it’s hard.
As parents it is so much easier to deal with a physical pain than to watch as your child suffers emotionally. I think that is probably true for a lot of situations: siblings, spouses, very close friends.
How can we possibly share that painful burden with someone? C an we share that burden with someone? I would like to think so. But I’m not sure. Let me think this out as I write. When I have had severe physical pain and people have known, it was nice that they flinched for me. It was nice that they felt bad for me. It was helpful if someone did something for me that would have caused more pain had I done it myself. It was even more helpful if someone recognized that it would cause me more pain and just did it, without me asking. Cause chances are, I wasn’t going to ask for help. So someone recognizing I needed help, or it would make me feel better to not have to do something, did make me feel better. Now the chances are that whatever physical pain I would be suffering could not be alleviated by someone wishing it didn’t hurt. Someone saying “I wish I could take some of your pain” was nice but no, it did not take the pain away. But there were some things that could be done to help, even if it didn’t ease the pain.
But what about mental anguish. Heart ache. Heart break. Sadness. Fear. Struggles within our hearts or heads. Can we help? Well, I’ve been there too. And my apologies, I do not mean to speak for others. This is of course my blog so I can only speak from my experience. But at the times in my life when my heart was breaking, or I did not think I could lift my head to look up at anyone, I know others made a difference.
More so than any time I physically hurt.
Going through a divorce I vividly remember a sister in law or two calling me out of the blue just to say “I’m thinking of you”. I know those calls came at a time when I felt what being alone was truly all about. When I hung up from those phone calls I did feel better. And it was the call, the thought behind the call, the words themselves. Even the stumbling over not being sure what to say. The words and thought across the phone line was a relief. A comfort. It took some pain away. Even if only for a minute. For the time they talked to me, thought about calling me, I had tangible proof that I was not alone. What a gift, a call to someone who may be feeling alone. And suddenly they have proof that someone out there is thinking about them. And they may not have even known it.
I ask these questions and wanted to ponder through this because I do know a couple of people who right now just aren’t at the best points of their lives. And it causes me to think about them, a lot. I can’t always be with them. And others can’t always be with them. But if you need tangible proof that you are not alone, and you are thinking you are alone: You are not. Right now, someone, somewhere, is thinking about you. The biggest regrets I have in life to this point are missed opportunities to do something for someone else. I would rather annoy a person in to avoiding my phone calls of concern and sympathy, then to have someone sitting and wishing just someone please call. Have you ever had that heart wrenching thought of your own-doesn’t anyone care? Don’t I matter? I wouldn’t want anyone I know having a moment like that and have silence as their response.
Being a sister, a mother, a wife, a child and a friend I know there have been many times in my life when there was someone I just wanted to bring home and put in my home. Surround them with love and strength. And nurturing. And food. And support. I know I can’t do that. And I know some of my family and friends don’t want me to do that. But sometimes the suffering I see in others is a phsyical jolt to me. So I am sure there are many others in this world who understand what I mean.
It’s at times like this that if someone said “I wish I could take some of your pain” it does – take – away – some – of – the – pain.
When you are alone, or feeling alone, or feeling anxious or sad or desperate or hopeless-someone saying they care does matter. Because if someone cares, even if they can not be with you, than you are not alone.
If you read this and think “I wonder if Colleen is talking about me” than the answer is yes. Because even if I don’t know the suffering you endure right now, you are not alone, because you are reading this and someone is telling you you matter. And you are not alone.