If you are a born lover of people, you take on many of the cares of people around you.
When your best friend has woes, you commiserate.
When your adult daughter has boyfriend issues, you listen and clamp your mouth shut.
When someone you care about is hurting, you tend to want to fix it.
The trouble with all this caring is that you can get drawn into drama that is not your own. In reality, you have enough of your own drama, such as the mind chatter in your own head that you need to keep calm.
The question becomes, how do you weather the ups and downs of people you love?
I. You make sure you are in a healthy place yourself
In order to be any good to anyone, you have to be in a healthy spot, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. How are you taking care of yourself? What do you need to do to get yourself healthy and well-nourished?
You can’t pour into other relationships out of an empty cup. Give yourself permission to care and reflect on what you need in order to be able to give to others.
II. You listen
Most of the time, all someone needs is to have you come alongside them to listen. They don’t need advice. They don’t need you to fix anything. They just need to know that they are not alone and are being heard. Most relationships need a listener.
“The first duty of love is to listen.” –Paul Tillich
III. You pray
Finally, in my experience, you can pray for them, with them and often times, you pray for discernment for yourself as to any steps you may need to take.When you hear of someone who is hurting, you can immediately stop and pray. Often times, that may be all you can do in a situation.When you are with a person, you can ask them,
“How can I be praying for you?”
If you feel comfortable enough in that situation, you can pray right then and there for whatever they tell you. If not, make a mental note and be sure to pray, then check in later to see how God is at work.
Finally, if the person’s ups and downs are impacting you, you can take your emotions to God and ask for wisdom and discernment. Your relationship with God becomes key in weathering the ups and downs of others.
For example, in my case, one of my family members is impacted with bipolar disease. He has been doing so well, yet is depressed currently. My prayers at the moment are around what I might do to support him. However, I can give him over to God and share my emotions with Him.
What about you? Which of the above steps feel the most comfortable to you? How might any of these steps help you weather the ups and downs of those you love in a healthy manner?
For those of us who love others deeply, having a few healthy steps with His help can support us to continue to love well.
I would love to know your ideas on how you love others well in the midst of their ups and downs. You can comment on this blog on my website.
While on my website, check out all the new offerings there and get my new free offer – Be You checklist – a way to determine how well-nourished your life is at this point in time:-) I look forward to hearing from you.
This blog first appeared ion Medium in Publishous, where I write articles regularly. You can follow my writings on a well-nourished life there as well.
Nancy Booth helps you discard chaos and uncertainty as you journey towards a well-nourished life after 50. She helps you embrace wellness, purpose and intentional connections in your life. Her coaching process helps you design your own personal roadmap to help you build a healthy, purposeful and peaceful mind, body and soul. She would love to walk your journey with you.