Never underestimate the value of your presence with another person. Particularly if they are in trouble, grieving or fearful of what’s going to happen in the future. You don’t have to fix anything, because you can’t. You don’t have the ability to reverse a cancer diagnosis or make an employer re-hire someone who has been fired.

Why are we so uncomfortable being with someone who is hurting? I believe it’s the age-old human tendency to fix everything. It bothers us when someone is sad or crying in our presence. If we could forget about solving the unsolvable problem and listen with our hearts instead of our heads, we could truly be helpful.

Giving a hug does more than any words we might attempt. Sitting quietly while they talk is what they need. Crying with another person who is crying tells them we are hearing them. If we can imagine ourselves as a heart with ears and no mouth, we can be helpful. Practice it and they will thank you without you having to do anything but show up.


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