My best friend in our company is seeking a new position. During his transition, he kept to himself embarrassed, angry, and humiliated. He finally came to Central Oregon to talk and we talked for eight hours. It was wonderful for both of us. Only through conversation with others that care can we start the healing process. Pulling inward, even though a natural reaction, is no solution. It only creates pain and suffering. We absolutely must connect with others.
I too in the past have pulled inwards feeling hurt, embarrassed, and angry during a transition. I have even sacrificed my families well being by not applying for unemployment because I was too embarrassed to have my prior employer know that I had “failed” in my new position. I wonder if others have done the same thing, pulling back and not talking with those that care. We are a conversational species and are supposed to be in conversation with others. That is what makes us human. That is how we learn. That is how we connect and heal. And that is how we love. So what drives us to abandon what is our most foundational characteristic? I know for myself that when I have reacted this way, I did not trust those that I loved and who loved me to embrace me and my circumstance without judgement.
Considering all that is going on in our world it is easy to reach out without judgement when someone looses a position. Yet do we always open up our hearts and our souls and let others come into conversation with us without judgement? Do we ask ourselves if the person could have done more, something differently, or better? Do these thoughts prevent us from fully embracing those who we love? A simple “What can I do to help?” is sufficient. “I am here to talk with you, listen to you, and bring you into a healing conversation” is what we can do to show love and caring for others.
I just found out that the son of a very dear friend died by suicide. My heart was broken. I can not even imagine the pain that she is going through. It would be easy to ask why others didn’t see the warning signs. But this is not a loving question. We humans are complex and messy. We have messy emotions, messy relationships, and messy lives. There is no way that we can or should judge, we can only reach out and love others and embrace them in conversation. We hold the cards to helping others heal through our willingness to talk.
Go forth my friends and help heal this world of ours. Embrace others and draw them into conversation. Do not let others withdraw in fear, anger, or humiliation. The power is ours. We now need each other more than ever. Thank you for being willing to carry on the work of conversation. You are healing the world.
Your friend John