Being there for someone is more than just our physical presence, it’s putting our whole selves in to what might not be the nicest of spaces.
When we hold someone in mind or hold space for them, we are containing them emotionally, sharing our own strength and opening our hearts to allow sanctuary and support recovery.
Being there for someone doesn’t mean always saying the right things, it doesn’t mean agreeing with them to make them feel better. When we accompany someone on a painful journey we go without our own baggage, we leave it behind, because we can’t possibly help someone else when we are burdened ourselves and carrying our own problems.
Often silence is enough, being an ear and listening without judgement, it’s not about fixing or giving advice, it starts with providing a safe place. Silence provides safety and comfort for someone who’s in the midst of trauma, it gives them chance to breath. Traumatic experiences are loud, they rage throughout the body and mind of the person going through them and if you haven’t heard the rage of trauma, you’re blessed.
They don’t need to know what we did when something similar happened to us, or hear our stories, that only moves the focus away. Being there for someone, is exactly that, it’s the being there and staying focussed on what they are saying, it’s simply listening, not analysing, assuming or fixing but listening.
Using empathic communication means we are able to utilise empathy as we communicate, mentally entering into the feelings of somebody else and appreciating their perceptions and understanding. When we listen empathically, we listen without judgement.
Trauma is a long road, it doesn’t just go away, it’s a journey to be travelled and requires resilience and compassion. When we start on this road with someone, we need to know that it’s a long way to the next crossroads and at times we might feel we are carrying a heavy load.
When we can provide this space, this time and understanding for someone else, it can make all the difference in the world and one day we might just need the same ourselves.