A common misconception is that people who choose to hold space and guide others always know the right thing to say or the right thing to do, or in my personal case that I can meditate my feelings away…
No! I am still a human being.
Meditation builds the foundation and locks the vault. It helps me stay open no matter what is going on around me and it helps me help those around me by remaining unbias. Not always in my own head though…
We all have flaws.
Yesterday I had to check myself before I literally wrecked myself and today I can look back and see that it was a strength, not a weakness.
Sometimes when people reach out -especially friends and family- I feel like I know exactly what to say to them to make them wake the hell up and realize it’s going to be okay, and so I don’t say anything…
I often remind myself they aren’t looking for an answer and most times -in my experience- saying nothing at all helps them come to the conclusion that they needed to hear from their own mind.
Some of the many things we really need to stop saying to people who might be reaching out:
“Believe me, I know.”
“I totally get it.”
“You know what’s even worse!?”
“I know how you feel.”
I am guilty of all of these and I constantly remind myself that the automatic responses that come out of my mouth need to be governed a little more.
“Believe me, I know” …Believe me, no one will ever “know” what you are feeling and what you are going through. Not your closest friend, not your siblings, not even your “literal creators” which in most cases was a “Mother and Father” but don’t forget that doesn’t pertain to everyone.
“I totally get it” …No, I certainly don’t totally get it, no one ever will. Perhaps when you’re speaking of a math problem or a riddle then you can claim to “totally get it.” You might understand part of “it” but saying “I totally get it” in response to something that is going on with someone else is absolutely ludicrous. Unless I have somehow broken into your brain and subconscious mind and I have experienced every single thing that you have been through since your brain began to develop and how you specifically have dealt with it I will never totally get it.
“You know what’s even worse?!” – That. That statement -in my opinion- is “even worse” than any response you can say to someone especially if they valued you enough to share what they are going through. This one I have worked on over and over and I am still working on it. It is hard for me to take certain problems seriously sometimes. Sometimes I want to grab people by the shoulders and shake them until they wake up and realize “It ain’t so bad” but I can not possibly know that, ever. I can not possibly know your personal barriers or what they mean to you. I don’t know what you are dealing with our what you have already overcome and for anyone who I have done this to, I sincerely apologize.
“I know how you feel” – I can only speak for myself and I can only feel for myself and you will NEVER know what that is like no matter how hard you try. Equally, I will never know how you feel…ever. I would love to listen and try to relate as much as I can if you desire my personal opinion, noting that my personal opinion has been influenced by incredible people, books, music, places and things from all over the world…but that is all I can give.
If you want to help what can you do? Listen; actively listen to what is being said by the person who decided to share. You have no idea what someone might be going through.
If you need help there is always someone and maybe that someone is you with a pen in your hand, writing out everything you feel – and if you feel like there is no one then remember this post that you somehow ended up getting through and know that no matter who I am to you or who you are to me I am always here -until I’m not-
Nothing is permanent. Do what you can and then strive to do better. We are never finished learning.
create your path, meditate on your thoughts, appreciate what you have; naturally.