Being present and listening it brought out more healing and connection
When someone shares a struggle with me or a problem they are facing I tend to go into "fix-it" mode. I want to problem solve and figure out a way to fix the situation. Sometimes we were able to brainstorm a solution that works, but there were other times where I felt so helpless because I knew there was nothing I could do to fix it.
Those moments were the most frustrating for me because I felt if I wasn't actively doing something to fix the problem then I wasn't helping. I would put immense pressure on myself to always figure out a way to fix every problem.
The issue with this kind of approach is we forget about the person and only see the problem. Sometimes people don't need you to fix something. Sometimes they just need you to listen.
I remember once I was struggling with something and my husband drew a blank because he didn't know how to help me fix it. He was telling me how he just felt so helpless and lost because he couldn't figure out what I needed. I told him the only thing I need in that moment was for someone to listen. I didn't need someone to fix my struggle, I just needed to be heard and held.
It seems so simple, sometimes too simple, but when I think back at those moments when I changed my "fix-it" mentality to being present and listening it brought out more healing and connection in my friendships and my marriage.
It's hard to listen, because it requires you to journey through a person's hurt and darkness. It's easier to simply "fix-it" and then the problem is gone. Don't jump to the easy solution. Be willing to walk through that suffering with your friends, family or significant other.
In these moments I sometimes think about Simon when he was forced to carry the cross of Christ. He took on the weight of the cross and walked with Jesus. He didn't think of ways to make the cross smaller or weigh less. Simon walked with Christ and suffered alongside him. That act was harder, but more powerful and brought about great healing and blessings.