Be a Bridge Through Healing, not a Boulder Impeding Healing
“When you’re weary, feeling small; when tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all. I’m on your side. Oh when times get rough, and friends just can’t be found; Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down…” Simon & Garfunkle, Bridge over troubled water
Many times as parents, partners, or loved ones, we try our hardest to be there when those we care about are battling with their compulsions. Sometimes, we tend to work a little too hard and often feel like we have to fix it for them; this usually happens because of the discomfort we feel regarding the situation. While trying our hardest to help is not necessarily a bad thing, it does, however, tend to lack the empathy we need to show our loved ones during their struggle in overcoming their compulsion. We must be a support for them, not a coach or a critic.
Healing Is Theirs
Remember that this fight is not ours, we are merely there for support and guidance. It is not our responsibility to tell our loved ones that they are not healing the right way because it is not how we would do it or that the only way to overcome their compulsion is by doing it a certain way. Taking this step back tends to be the most challenging part for us as loved ones to handle.
As mentioned earlier, we must show empathy during this time. Empathy means that we are simply able to be there for our loved ones and sit in the pain with them, not trying to fix it or make it better, but just letting them know that we are going to be there to hold them when they need it and listen. Even when we do not know what to say or how to respond, just letting our loved ones know they are being heard can be enough to get them through the most painful aspects of healing.
Let us be that bridge for our loved ones by helping them through the healing process and not be a boulder that is impeding the healing process. Let us show empathy to our loved ones by letting them heal at their own pace.