Have you ever had a good friend go through a really hard season in life and you can’t understand it at all? It’s something you have never faced, probably never will face and find hard to relate to? Maybe it’s marriage struggles, depression, illness or broken families.
I was recently shown how important it is to simply show up. Support means everything to you when you are going through a hard time. I recently had the opportunity to fly to Charlotte to visit a friend battling breast cancer. She said how encouraging it was to her to have me there, but oh; it did SO much for me. I heard her personal story and struggles she faces. Doctor appointments, body changes, being nauseous for weeks, responcibilites falling on one spouse…it opened my eyes just a little to what cancer families go though. I recently donated my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths-11 inches! It’s a wonderful organization that makes wigs for woman with cancer. To be able to physically give something made me feel like I was a part of something bigger.
Depression is a dark and scary place. If you have anyone reach out to you, listen to their cry for help. So many times if we do not understand something it feels frustrating to us. But simply think about the person who is battling it themselves. It’s frightening and very lonesome. I’ve noticed many times when a person is dealing with depression they tend to push people away and hurt the ones closest to them. Do not give up, push through the hurt and stand by their side. You may be the very light they need at that moment. With most people it takes time-years-to see any progress. It can be very taxing on a relationship. Keep on.
Try to find ways to understand your friend more fully. Maybe it’s taking a day to visit them, writing a letter, listening to a podcast that interviews a person dealing with the same situation…whatever it may be, the simple act of trying to understand their life a bit better means the world. I recently listened to a podcast on having a child with special needs. If you get a chance you can listen to it here. It helped me better know how to treat and care for my clients’ kids with special needs. Not only for the children but the parents as well.
Whether it’s time, money, or a simple act of support, enter into your friend’s life. Get creative-you’ll be surprised at what ways you can become involved. That is what community is all about.