Let others do their own work, and stop denying them their self-autonomy.

It’s difficult to see someone close to you struggle.

Ask yourself why you feel so compelled to have to fix their pain. It’s out of a desire to help, but also it’s a desire to end your own pain around it (or maybe something else) and to feel like you are doing something about it. Remember that just because they share their pain with you doesn’t mean they want you to fix them.

What we end up doing is distracting ourselves from our own work, and we deny the other person the opportunity to grow in their autonomy. We also give the message that they are not capable of doing their own work, as well as that there is something to fix in them, or that there is something wrong with feeling pain.

Pain wakes us up, and when given the space to work through it without the micromanagement or unsolicited showering of suggestions and opinions of others, and when harnessed, it allows us to grow from the inside out – out of hiding from our own brilliance – and into becoming who we really are.

What we can do is sit with them, feel the pain with them as you already probably do, but without the compulsion to react or give advice, and be with their pain in a similar way you would share their joys or celebrations (you don’t try to change or analyze anything in those moments, do you?). And through body language, by listening and holding quiet space, let them know you are there as a sounding board, or to hear their requests should they need anything from you, giving them the opportunity to learn to ask and receive at their own readiness.

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