Everyone of us needs to show how much we care for each other and, in the process, care for ourselves. ~Princess Diana
It seems that in times of uncertainty and chaos those of us who have overcome adverse life experiences have more compassion and empathy to share with others. This wisdom emerges from our heart, right on time, to intuitively guide those who are suffering and struggling. If we are focused on what is good and right, our intuitive perspectives can collectively shift the mainstream energy away from doom and gloom and in the direction of hope and resiliency.
This is a great time of conflict agitated by the surfacing of deep rooted fears from the underbelly of the unknown. I too can get lost in the terrifying abyss of “what if” as I am not immune to the dangers and the struggles that many people are experiencing right now. As I was writing in my journal today, I was overwhelmed with sadness. The result was this article on how these three elements of human kindness can positively impact those who may be incapable of grasping another way of looking at the current state of affairs.
I’m not speaking of a “snake oil” solution, I am talking about compassion, empathy and meaningful connections with those who need it the most. This does not take the place of therapy, but it will help during a time when everything seems more frighting than usual. Lending an ear over the phone or via video chat can mean the world to someone who is finding it hard to do what it takes to “feel okay” in their own space, especially if they are isolated and alone.
Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard and valued-when they can give and receive without judgement. ~Brené Brown
3 Ways to Emotionally Connect
- Share from your heart. Give an honest account of where you are at with your own struggles. Don’t be negative or complain, but offer words of wisdom for how you have processed an experience that may be similar in order to create a bond of trust between you and the person(s) that are in search of comfort during at time when they need to feel seen and heard. Be willing to listen and validate their fears without offering solutions or advice. Be a good listener, it could save someones life and give them the strength they need to continue on with hope and faith.
- Be Authentic. Allow them to see who you are because of your hardship. Offer a tool or a tangible resource that was helpful in processing your own fears to find balance between what is real and current over what has not happened yet. When preexisting trauma and negative past experiences surface ask them to repeat their fears so that they can hear them selves say it out loud. I have found in my own recovery, that if I speak out-loud about my fears I have an opportunity to actually hear what I am saying in relation to what I may be overthinking and obsessing over.
- Identify don’t compare. Being able to identity with the pain, fear, sadness and anxiety of another can be very beneficial for anyone who may be having a difficult time processing current hardships, loss and/or grief and shame for not being able to handle things better. I find that those who have the courage to express their feelings have a deeper desire to connect with others by sharing their pain with someone who can identify with what they are going through and/or have experienced recently or in the past.
During times of uncertainty showing up for others can offer huge emotional shifts towards meaningful connections. There is a tremendous benefit in being able to say, “Hey, I understand how you feel because I have a very similar experience”. Being present can offer comfort and hope to someone who may not see that their own experiences can have a positive outcome. It is not up to us to make promises or tell them what can or will happen, but we can offer a spark of hope in the darkness of their world. In my case, a spark of hope was bright enough to keep me from allowing the darkness of my addiction and trauma to win. It was those who offered to listen without judgement that impacted my life in the most powerful way.