Every once in awhile, you learn that someone that you care about, feels really down.
Maybe, someone that they love, hurt their feelings very deeply.
Maybe, they have a serious medical condition.
Or a completely overwhelming financial situation.
Or they just lost someone that they loved very much.
Or they’re in a domestic violence situation that they’re ashamed to even talk about.
Maybe they’re going through a relationship crisis that could spell the end of their marriage.
Or they’re suffering from a mental illness that is going to require professional help.
Or they’re completely exhausted from a series of things in their life going wrong, one after the other.
You may not even know why they’re feeling down — you just know that they are feeling down — and that you love and care about them.
Your first temptation may be for self-preservation — you don’t want to take a chance that they’ll hurt you while they’re down.
Or you “don’t know what to say.”
So you say nothing.
You plan to just leave them alone until they feel better.
But what if they never feel better?
And is that what you would want people who care about you to do, when you’re feeling down?
Leave you alone?
No, I’ll bet you’d want the people who care about you, to keep caring about you, and for you, especially when you’re feeling down.
To stick with you, through the hard times.
To do whatever they can do, to help you through your hard times.
To remind you that they love you.
Yes, it might be difficult to do, but when someone that you care about is feeling down, they need you, maybe more than ever.
Over several decades, I’ve have had many people in my life.
Some of them were close, personal friends, who had trusted me to help them through many of their own struggles.
But, after my stroke, almost 14 months ago, some of them have never, ever contacted me again.
No text message.
No phone call.
I can tell you from personal experience, those “closed doors” make me feel like those people “gave up on me.”
Like, as far as they’re concerned, I’m dead.
And that’s a horrible feeling.
So, don’t leave the people that you love feeling alone.
Take a chance.
Be there, to let them know that you understand.
Not with sappy “bumper-sticker” psychology, or tired, useless (and maybe even hurtful) slogans, like, “cheer up” or “hang in there.”
But with true feelings, experience, and love, from your heart.
Or, be there to be quiet and just listen to them.
Cry with them.
Pray for them.
Or, even, be there and sit with them in complete silence.
Whatever you do — be there.
But be prepared for them to say or do hurtful things.
Don’t take those things personally.
Remember, it’s not about you, worrying about yourself, that you might not say “the right thing.”
It’s about them.
To be there.
There’s an old saying: “Hurt people, hurt people.”
Remember, your friend is a hurt person.
So, be brave.
Be a hero.
Be a true friend.
You can do it.
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