At some point in our lives, we’re all sidelined by something – whether illness, injury, heartbreak, or another type of loss. But while we all have healing in common, each of us heals in a different way. There is no magic formula, no recipe for recovery. People simply handle things the best way they know how. Some of us need alone time to turn inward, while others need quality time to talk it out. Some people always seem to bounce back quickly, while others need to feel through their emotions before moving on.
All of this uncertainty can make conversations about healing tough. When our loved ones are in pain, we want to share words of encouragement and assure them they’re supported through and through. But though we have the best intentions, we often struggle to find the right words. In our quest to help, our first impulse might be to give advice, but real wisdom asks us to resist thinking we know what’s best and allow our loved ones to provide the cues. It’s a powerful gift to truly listen and show them you recognize their journey is unique
With this in mind, we put together a few ideas for making your loved one feel supported and cared for. We hope they provide inspiration for you to express what’s in your heart.
On the flip side, if you’re the one who’s healing, you may already be facing a torrent of unsolicited advice. Deciding on a plan for protecting yourself can help you set appropriate boundaries. Though you may recognize your loved ones’ suggestions as attempts to ease your shared distress, they can still feel like a dissatisfying substitute for simple unconditional support. You may want to avoid hurting their feelings or seeming ungrateful at all costs, but it’s important to let them know that your journey is your own. It’s your job to make the right decisions for yourself, even when that means doing what you can to get through the day and letting that be enough.
If you feel caught in a flurry of unwanted advice, but you’re struggling to find the right words, we’d like to suggest a few ideas on what to say:
“I appreciate the advice. I’ll let you know if I need anything.”
“Thank you for thinking of me, but I’ve got it covered.”
Or simply change the subject by asking them something about themselves.
The truth is, when it comes to these conversations, there’s no foolproof method for knowing what to say. But we believe that if your mind and your heart are open, you’ll eventually find your way. Sometimes healing is a long chat, and sometimes it’s silently holding a hand. It can look like dropping off groceries or cooking dinner side by side. It’s okay to say that you feel unsure, that you’re fumbling for the right words. And if all else fails, it’s amazing how much healing a simple, “I’m here with you” can do.
Need some help finding the clarity to have an open-hearted conversation about healing? Here are the classes we turn to for support.