The Kindness of Silence
When we or someone we love is in pain we often try to help by offering solutions. But in reality most of our most serious problems - getting sick, failing, losing someone - can't be solved. The very things that matter the most to us are also the things we have the least control over.
Sometimes the greatest kindness we can offer those we love (including ourselves) is the willingness to acknowledge and sit with the uncomfortableness of life. To show others they aren't alone in their suffering by simply acting as a witness. When revered author Parker Palmer experienced debilitating depression in his forties, friends offered him thoughts & opinions such as 'you're so loved' or 'look at this beautiful day'. Instead he found the most comfort in a friend who silently massaged his feet giving only his company.
So the next time you or someone you love is experiencing a difficult time try to simply follow your breath, come into each of your senses and allow the moment to unfold.
'The human soul doesn't want to be advised, fixed or saved. It simply wants to be witnessed exactly as it is.' Parker J. Palmer