Sometimes it feels like not enough to simply empathize and validate. I have been there, I have life experience, I know what you need!
I AM MAMA BEAR HEAR ME ROAR I CAN FIX THIS FOR YOU GET OUT OF MY WAY
So then we have to empathize *enough* to remember what it’s like when empathy and validation are missing, and we get force fed solutions instead.
Definitely better to sedate the bear.
For some reason, Cathy, I am reminded of something our mutual hero, Rachel Remen, talks about: the difference between fixing, helping, and serving. Fixing and helping carry an implied sense of inequality (I’m smarter/stronger/wiser, thus know what’s best for you). Serving, on the other hand, is a relationship of equals. When we serve, we see the wholeness in the other person and we respond to them from our own wholeness. I think listening—and withholding our impulse to advise or fix—is a dynamic form of serving.
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Oooo, YES! Thank you for this, Donna! We can always count on Aunt Rachel for this deep, relational wisdom. Happy Thanksgiving, my friend! I know how you enjoy the gathering. 🙂