As much as we may try to maintain a positive outlook on life, there are moments when looking on the bright side simply isn’t an option. In those times, it is crucial for us to stand by our friends and loved ones, even when they find themselves in the darkness.
Life can be challenging, and there are moments when it feels impossible to see any positivity, regardless of good news or encouraging words we receive. However, amidst this struggle, there is a timeless quote that resonates with many: “When you can’t look on the bright side, I will sit with you in the dark.”
While often mistakenly attributed to Alice in Wonderland or any of its iconic characters, this quote remains a powerful source of inspiration for everyone. Its origin may be uncertain, but its message transcends any particular author or context.
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The Importance of Not Taking the First Step
One thing most of us can agree on is that women are often natural problem solvers. We constantly seek to fix things, always dependable in that aspect. However, there are times when a problem simply lacks a solution, leaving us feeling helpless and at a loss for what to do. Surprisingly, in these situations, the best course of action may be doing nothing at all.
Sometimes, people don’t need us to offer solutions or financial aid. Instead, they require our presence and support. Whether it’s a hug or a late-night phone call, the most valuable thing we can offer is our willingness to sit with them in their darkest moments.
In John Green’s remarkable book, “The Fault In Our Stars,” there’s a profound line that stands out: “That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.” There’s no avoiding or dismissing it, regardless of whether the pain stems from a recent event or one that occurred decades ago.
The Inevitable Cycles and Stages of Life
Life is full of various cycles and stages, from birth to school, from first crushes to many other significant moments. As someone in their 40s, I’ve experienced the joys of marriage, established a home, and become a parent to two children. Sadly, I’ve also witnessed the loss of loved ones close to me.
Recently, I’ve encountered several instances of untimely deaths. One of my college friends passed away in his 40s, while two of my girlfriends lost their husbands to cancer at the same age. Additionally, a close family member recently passed, and many of my friends are currently battling cancer. It’s a stage in life where fixing things is simply not an option. Unfortunately, I know I’m not alone in facing these challenges. Many of you have either gone through similar experiences, are currently in this stage, or will inevitably face it in the future. It’s a stage that touches everyone’s life eventually.
The Power of Being There for Others
In moments when we find ourselves stuck in a seemingly hopeless situation, unsure of any bright side, what can we do to help? Personally, as a relentlessly positive person (sometimes to the point of being annoying), I understand that there are times when being positive won’t make a difference. There are times when pain simply needs to be acknowledged and felt.
In these moments, we must resist the urge to fix things or offer assistance in ways that make us feel comfortable. It’s important to remember that our actions shouldn’t be about ourselves; they should be focused on what the person in need wants and requires, not what we think they need based on our own preferences. It’s crucial to truly listen to our hurting friends and refrain from attempting to make ourselves comfortable, as it’s unlikely to be helpful for them.
Sometimes, the most meaningful support we can provide is simply being present, whether by watching a movie together or engaging in heartfelt conversations about lost loved ones or ongoing battles with illness. Sitting in the dark alongside them is what truly alleviates their feeling of loneliness.
Many of us are fortunate enough to have remarkable individuals in our lives, friends with whom we can share countless adventures. However, when faced with a crisis, it’s essential to understand how these individuals process emotions and what they truly need.
Navigating through pain is a process, one that eventually evolves and changes. The most impactful thing we can do for our friends, loved ones, or even ourselves, is to be there for them. Remind them of our love and unwavering support, as it is during their darkest moments that they will begin piecing themselves back together. In time, they may need our assistance, but the first step is simply being there, sitting with them, and empowering them to move forward.
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