January 19, 2015
One of Merriam Webster’s definitions for “available” is “present and … willing to talk to someone.”
One of the greatest frustrations we often feel in devoted relationships is a sense of helplessness when our loved one is going through a difficult time with a health or emotional issue. The solutions to their struggle might not be easy to find, or maybe they don’t exist at all. From our own breaking heart we wish we could trade places with them, even for just a little while, to give them some relief, some respite, some peace …
Trading places might not be possible, but being available is.
Each of us has our own path to travel and those paths are rarely without obstacles. We learn, grow and evolve through those obstacles; they aren’t on our path, as much as they are our path. And even though we cannot take our loved one’s responsibility for their work from them, we can make ourselves available to them. This availability comes in the form of non-judgmental empathy, support, and validation. It comes with deep listening and maybe hearing the same story over and over, if necessary.
It tells our loved one we are present and willing to stand with them in their struggle. It tells them we’re available, and sometimes that’s enough.