There’s a couple of friends going through – well let’s call it a high stress situation – at the moment. Not, I hasten to add, with each other, nor are they in any way connected besides their common friendship with me; but nevertheless they are dealing with similar circumstances and worries, albeit from different directions.
All I can do is be there as a shoulder, a set of ears, and perhaps as a lightning rod as stress needs earthing – and that’s well within my capacity right now because of the support I am in turn receiving from important people in my life. The saturation through concern for them that I might otherwise experience is offset by the love and sarcasm of those who care for me.
It’s no exaggeration to say that this is a huge improvement on where I’ve been recently, and the timing in that respect couldn’t be better.
This year has brought me experiences that are making it easier to be congruent with my friends’ current situations. This isn’t in a “I know how they feel” way in any shape or form – I can’t do that, but I can recall how I’ve felt in similar situations, or what I’ve done to plod through them and out the other side. The things they are relating are therefore less worrying or scary because they are in some ways already familiar.
Best of all my experiences have taught me to shut the hell up and just be there. To listen and hear what is said and not said – and not dig for details because it’s not about me.
My friends know I’m present with them as they need, just as they have been for me in the past and will no doubt be in the future. Those closest to me are both letting me do that, and being supportive in ways they may not even entirely realise at the time.
My thoughts are with my friends, even when I can’t be there physically. When they need the latter, I’ll do my best to do that too.