Friday, July 8, 2011
Dealing With Breakups: The Strength to Sit Still
The hardest thing is not always finding the right words to say...but rather knowing that you have to let them find it out on their own. And that's hard. Because even when you know their pain and you know right where they are at emotionally and even spiritually and you know the answer...it will do no good only hearing it from you - it's something that they just have to learn on their own.
That was me last night. I stood talking to a good friend who just had his almost-finace' brutally break-up with him. I saw underneath his facade of "everythings ok," that he wasn't as ok as he thinks he is. It was like looking into a mirror of myself 1 1/2 years ago. I knew what phase he was in in the grieving process, I knew the boiling questions fermenting in his mind, I knew what he needed to learn and had yet to realize...and I also knew that me telling him would do no good, possibly add more harm. I felt like I held the key in my hand, but if I tried to unlock the door, it would only slam shut even harder. And so I remained silent. And that was so hard.
There is a time to speak. And there is a time to remain silent. People who are hurting, specifically people suffering the loss of love and being stabbed in the back for it, can't process even the most truth-speaking advice. In a phase like that, you are struggling so much to keep from having a serious breakdown (both emotional and mental) that you go into survival mode. You can't see beyond yourself and your struggle for survival. And so, buoy's of truth most often float on by, sometimes only knocking off balance a drowning swimmer. There will come at time for the words to be spoken, but those times will be few and far between. But when they are ready to be heard and spoken at the right time, they will go a long way.
After I left last night, I looked back at myself, and I realized how so many people dealt with me so wisely when I was going through that. I remember so many times talking (more like ranting) with family and friends, telling them where I was...and they nodded, listened, and let me be. They had the wisdom and strength to sit back and let me learn it myself - which was exactly what I had to do.
And now as I watch my own friend ranting through his pain, I realize that wisdom and strength they showed. Times of truth-speaking came and those people valiantly spoke that truth into my heart, and in the right time, the Lord pressed it into my heart, and added it to the lessons I was learning myself as I navigated my breakups.
It's harder to be silent and watch someone's pain, than to try and fix it. If you know someone who's hurting like that, don't try and fix it. Ask how they are. Listen. Nod. Care. It will meant the WORLD that you have just listened and cared, and didn't try to fix them or tell them they're wrong (they already know they're a mess). And then pray. God really is the one who will bring them through. He's the one who did it for me.