When you hurt, what you need most of all is real understanding and care.
You don’t want to hear empty words or probably any words at all.
You don’t want to be offered meaningless clichés.
You don’t want an escape or entertainment.
Really what someone who is hurting may need more than anything else is to be cared for at a genuine level.
It doesn’t matter if the pain you face comes from the death of someone that you love and depend on or from the mess left behind after a love relationship comes apart.
It doesn’t matter if you hurt over losing a job or suffer a set back from a fight with a serious illness. It only matters that when you are lost, lonely, forlorn and feeling abandoned and hopeless that there is a genuine, caring response.
Imagine this; you are feeling hopelessly lost and down, you face the thought of your life as you know it being over and your world in ruins.
You have suffered such an emotional trauma that everything seems pointless and useless.
As you make your way home from the hospital in the rain you lose your footing and slip and fall off the roadway down the side of a slight embankment and come to rest in a puddle of mud.
You are not physically injured but you are beside yourself, racked with emotional pain and filled with such a feeling of being alone that all you can do is sit hopelessly in the mud and sob.
By chance someone that you know comes by the spot where you sit wet, cold and dirty and notices you there in your mess.
At first your friend does the expected thing. She surveys the situation wondering how to get down the bank to rescue you or how to get something to you to pull you out of the mud.
Then, after a moment there is a realization. Your friend is able to see that sitting in the cold, wet mud is exactly where you need to be. And remarkably, instead of finding a way to get you out of your mess she decides to join you.
In a moment she is in the mud too, siting quietly next to you, with you.
No words are spoken but you are both exactly where you need to be, you in the dirt, your friend by your side.
This is what those who hurt for whatever reason need most and what they have such a difficult time finding.
We are so used to fixing things; a hammer and a nail, a bit of paint, a trip to the doctor or maybe even a pill to take.
All of these things have their place and all have value, but with a broken heart or a wounded spirit what we need most, at least initially and on going if possible, is for our hurt to be acknowledged and responded to in an honest, open, caring way.
Please see that I am lost and please find a way to respond to what I need now.
Please care for my need and me honestly at this moment.
There will be time for hammers and nails, paint and pills, but right now I need someone to be with me. Someone to care about me and to find a way to show me that they understand where I am and that I am not utterly alone.
Please, just sit in the mud with me.
If you have someone that you care for who is in emotional pain try to find a way to show them that you care. Even if you don’t fully understand where they are all that matters is that you are prepared to be with them.
If you hurt, see if you can tell your friends about the person who slipped off the road and ended up in the mud. It’s a good story.