Have you noticed that when you share things that you’re upset about or struggling with, the tendency for other people is to help you resolve it, downplay it, brush it aside, or try to make you see things in a different light?
Notice how this makes you feel in that instance when you are just feeling the pain in that moment and want to vulnerably share it. We can often feel disregarded and hurt when these things happen.
When we share our pain, we are looking for a soft place to put that down and where we will be received with kindness, where we will feel seen and heard. We aren’t seeking for things to be corrected in those instances.
As children when we are hurt, the first thing we do is cry and the first thing we want is to be held by our parent or have them kiss our boo-boo while they comfort us with soothing tones and soft caresses.
And although we might not need someone to kiss our wounds now, we inherently still seek out the same things when we feel hurt and pain in our lives when we share them with the people we care about. We are seeking that support. The proverbial “kiss my boo-boo better” so to speak. And yet, we have managed to paint that as a “weak” attribute, for one to sit in their pain and wanting to outwardly cry about it.
But to be fair, this happens because we are so deeply programmed and conditioned to be this way…because we are not taught how to sit with uncomfortable emotions and our pain. Therefore, when others come to us with this, we immediately try to correct, advise, or resolve their pain or troubles away instead of giving them the love, comfort, and support that they need.
I don’t believe that it is ever intentional. At a subconscious level, other people displaying their pain and grief triggers our own pain within since it is human of us to connect with others. In connecting with others, we relate to them.
However, if we are not feeling our own pain, that can cause us to feel the discomfort subconsciously, and so we immediately operate from our conditioned brain and try to solve and “push” that pain away as fast as possible. It’s dismissive, yes—but it is done with little to no awareness.
The one thing to remember here is this:
Holding space for pain is far more powerful than correcting the problems.
I believe that the only way to change this is for us to begin sitting with our own pain. It is only through that where we can also begin to sit with others and their pain.
True connection can begin when we can finally meet one another in these deep places where we have also met ourselves.
Only then can we begin to finally listen, see, and hear.