Each and every day we are faced are with challenges. Some of these challenges are chosen, whereas others aren’t; some are external while others are internal; some greater than others but all challenges nonetheless. What makes the difference is our attitude and mindset.
It’s like the old adage, “hurting people hurt people”. Not always are we victorious over life’s situations. We want to be but, the reality of that is quite different. We always experience victories and defeats. Many times when someone has been overcome by life they lash out. It has nothing to do with those around them but because of the pain, disappointment and loss that they’ve experienced it seems there is no other recourse.
One thing that I’ve learned is that when people have experienced hurt they react the same way as a person that has lost a loved one. They are experiencing grief. If you care enough about them… take the time and pay close attention to them. You will know, without a doubt, how to be there for them. Here are the 5 Stages of Grief…
1) Denial – the “everything’s fine” stage: At this stage, you will hear, “everything’s fine” and “I’m good”. But in reality the person is taking inventory of things and people that are left behind after loss. They are refusing to accept reality and the facts. People can be stuck in denial…
2) Anger – the blame stage: The realization that denial cannot continue sets in. Many times it is replaced with misplaced rage and anger at themselves (“Why me?”) and at others (“Whose fault is this”). Someone at this stage will be difficult to deal with but don’t drop them. They need you. Just understand that you have to remain neutral and you can’t judge them…
3) Bargaining – the negotiation stage: The cry of hope… Regarding death, this is where people tend to start talking to God. “If you do this Lord, I’ll do that…” Regarding relationships, this is where compromise sets in. “I know you want to breakup but can we still be friends?” Very rarely does the negotiation lead to a sustained agreement.
4) Depression – the sad stage: It is important that this stage happens as this is where the person begins to face reality. There will be times where they will want to be alone and will have times of tears and times of silence. They need to work it out. Here’s something interesting… It isn’t necessary, or recommended, for you to try and cheer them up. They need to process their emotions and the situation(s).
5) Acceptance – the moving forward stage: Here the person is truly dealing with the reality of the situation, is ‘more’ at peace with it AND begins to move forward in their life.
The weird part about these stages is that MOST of the time Denial is first and Acceptance is last stage but the order in the middle can be all over the place. Plus, once a person has dealt with a stage that doesn’t mean they won’t experience that stage again and again.
When you truly love someone, you are willing to do whatever it takes. Be patient. There is more going on than what you see, hear and feel. Be that shoulder to cry on, that hand to hold, that ear that listens… Don’t shut them down but allow them to release. It may be extremely difficult. They may target you. They may say, or do hurtful things, but trust me when I tell you… Be patient. The ride may be rough but, if you truly love them, the ride will be worth it.
I love you ALL!!!
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