Coffee Time: Help a Friend by Kathyann

old coffee cup creamer and plateWhat a glorious morning it is!  Please, please, please make yourself a cup of your favorite coffee.  Yes, YOUR FAVORITE coffee.  It is Saturday morning, most of you are off from work so make yourself a cup of your favorite Joe.  By this I mean, add some flavor – chocolate, hazelnut, vanilla, amaretto, whip cream, marshmallows, cinnamon, make a latte, cappuccino, espresso.  Just make it a special cup just for you.

Now, take a seat and let’s discuss how you would help a friend who is experiencing hard times.  If you have a friend who is going through a difficult time.  What would you do?  

— Wish them the best and go on.

— Cry with them for a little while.

— Dry their tears.

— Tell them you understand how they feel even when you don’t.

— Tell them to call you whenever they want to talk and then hope they don’t call.

— Tell them they are over-reacting.

— Reassure them things will get better.

— Etc., etc., etc.,……… 

Okay, well depending on the situation they are enduring, what kind of person they are, and how close you are to them — all will determine your answer.  

Everyone, and I really do mean everyone could use a friend, especially in trying times.   I remember when my Dad passed over, I was so devastated for at least 6 years.  I carried such bitterness towards God and life in general and shared my bitterness with others around me when the topic of death or fathers came up.  He has been gone for 28 years and my heart still hurts.  In fact, I went to his grave site only 5 times and only because my mother went and I didn’t want her to go alone.  I can assure you, I will never go back to that site again.  I feel such emptiness and confusion when I am at the cemetery and know that it is so unhealthy for me to be there.  I am fine with all of it now that I have matured and know that death is not the end of life – it is a beautiful transition to another and that he and my mother will live on – in fact, all of us will never die.  I know they are always with me.  However, when he passed, all I wanted was to die and go with him.  My Dad was my world and I could not imagine life without him.  People came to the house after his funeral to eat and catch-up with each other’s lives.  I couldn’t believe such a thing was happening!  It was like some sort of social gathering – eating, laughing, talking. I had never seen such a thing before and I wanted so much to yell and tell them all to get out of the house.  I couldn’t do that so I went to my room, laid in the dark and cursed God all the while crying a river of tears that I really believed would flow forever.  During this time, people told me things like they were sorry and that they understood how I felt.  Mostly, I just looked at them and walked away and with some, I told them flat-out that they didn’t know how I feel because they didn’t know how much he meant to me, so how could they know?

People’s feelings are their feelings, not ours.  Because of this, we need to be more sensitive in the way we respond to someone enduring a difficult time.  We can tell them over and over how much we understand, but when someone is traveling down the “difficult and painful” highway – their pain is their pain and no one knows but them how much it hurts.  Death of a loved one is not the only reason we endure that “difficult” highway, there are many reasons we go down this highway and therefore, there are many ways to react to it all.  Depending on your relationship with the person, you will find the best way to help them if you do it with heart-felt emotion.  Be sensitive, be supportive of how they tell you they feel, stay quiet and listen to them, cry with them, hold their hand, hug them, let them express themselves however they choose to do so.  After the emotions have subsided, I would recommend the following:

Help them by making sure you maintain your joy, your calmness.  Your good feelings will help lift them.  You can also help them by directing their conversations so that they speak about what they want.  As they fall into speaking about what they don’t want just keeping gently leading them back to speak about what they want.  You can also speak to them as though their difficult time is over and suggest that they imagine that it has all passed and in some cases, it has all worked out beautifully.  Help them to look forward in time and see the light that follows every situation we endure.  Take control of the situation and help them stay in tune with the universe who is the giver of all life.  Tell them what a wonderful creator they are and how nothing is impossible.  Teach them the aspects of creating their life, their perfect life, their desired life.

I wish you all a wonderful and peaceful weekend! — Kathyann


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