We all face them. Difficult, gut-wrenching realities. Someone we love is diagnosed with a terrible illness. Our aging parents need financial and emotional support to live with dignity. Our spending has spun out of control, and if we continue, we could run out of money.
It is tempting – oh, so tempting – to look away from these difficult realities. Tempting, and ultimately disastrous. We lose the chance to spend time with an ill friend or family member. Our parents struggle with daily life. Our precarious financial situation grows ever more insecure.
Accepting and dealing with reality is hard, often heart-breaking. We feel scared, anxious and overwhelmed. To navigate through these turbulent waters, we need the support of a compassionate friend who will listen to us without judgment and encourage us with a caring heart. A friend who will not tell us what to do, but who will let us express all our thoughts and feelings about our difficult reality. A friend who will help us connect with our own inner wisdom about the next right step for us to take.
Many of us don’t have enough friends like these. Our lives are so busy we neglect these crucial relationships. We miss opportunities to create, cultivate and enjoy close friendships. When the personal crisis erupts (and life has a way of making sure that they do), we may find we lack the support we need.
Are there enough people in your life who will listen to you with compassion and without judgment? Are you spending enough time building and nurturing these relationships?