Three Hundred Fifty Six: All in This Soup Bowl Together

“Give yourself entirely to those around you. Be generous with your blessings. A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.” – Steve Maraboli

Tuesday, December 23rd

I had just got the kids into the bathtub when I saw a text from my dear friend (who is in the middle of an ugly divorce.) She knows she can safely “shout” every terrible word in the book over a text message to me without judgment. She needs to get it out and to be heard. I don’t know if misery loves company, but it certainly needs compassion.

She was the friend who rolled out the red carpet for me on my birthday – made me a thug-life birthday playlist, bought me treats, welcomed my other friend warmly into the fray, and chauffered us around town from dawn to dusk. She’s a gem. Sadly, she’s a gem whom is losing her shine amidst the stress of the divorce proceedings.

What the hell do I know about divorce? Very little, it seems…and honestly, I’m happy to be ignorant in this department. So when I spout off what I think might be helpful, I don’t know if it’s any help at all. Sometimes I humor her with crude jokes or extremely derogatory comments about her ex. I may not know how to counsel someone through the grief of a lost relationship, but I certainly know that laughter is a necessity. Not all the time, but the pain must be punctuated with…well, puns. (Harhar, get it?)

When I am in the middle of a terrible argument with my husband, I stop for a moment and wonder if this would be the start of his bitter resentment against me. That is terribly morbid, but I am the sort of person who gets ahead of myself…and sometimes it has helped me to preserve my relationships. I’m not always the one to apologize, but when my love’s hand is reached out asking for forgiveness I always accept it. And I’m learning more and more to let down my guard and be compassionate instead of needing to feel “right”.

This year has been a game-changer for me. I’ve been called on to support my loved ones – through breakdowns, break-ups, suicide attempts, cancer, family passings, the passing of beloved pets, and more. We all have, because we aren’t living in a bubble. We’re in this together. The older we get, the more people we know and the closer we get to the beauty and strife of the world. I’m finding that by pulling myself further away from the media and the onslaught of information that flies at me every day, the more energy and compassion I have to share with those closest to me and help them make it through the tougher moments in their day. And the tougher moments in mine.

Do you feel better or worse after helping others through tough times?


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