Mid-Week Balance: 2 May 2012

I liked last week’s half-themed and half-grab-bag post so much that I am repeating it this week.  As always, I hope that you find something that touches you, inspires you, or lifts you up.

Responding to the Hard Stuff

I appreciated this post by Dr. Kate Land.  She explored the struggles that many of us have when we hear about bad news or painful experiences that others are facing.  I thought she did a good job of compassionately examining how well-meaning responses might be hurtful.

Bruce Feiler is a writer and a cancer survivor who shared six responses to avoid when talking with a sick friend, co-worker or family member.  Some of these might surprise you–but he does a nice job providing a rationale for each one.  I also appreciated that he included four responses that will generally convey your caring and support.

This may be a post that I have shared in MWB before.  If that’s true, I’m okay with it, because it is a powerful post and it’s worth re-sharing.  The post is specifically about helping a friend (or yourself) cope with infertility (because National Infertility Awareness Week was last week, but I didn’t realize that until after MWB went live).  However, I think that you could fill in many other medical conditions and some of the basic principles outlined in the article would be valuable.

Grab Bag of Goodness

Perhaps it’s not surprising that one issue that comes up a lot in therapy is the many creative ways that we have learned to disconnect from or avoid difficult feelings.  I am always on the lookout for compassionate approaches to help folks gently reconnect with feelings that may be painful or frightening.  I really appreciated Anna Guest-Jelley’s caring thoughts as she reflected on those “red flag” moments and how she is trying to approach them.

Rosie Molinary shared a post from her blog archive about how easy it is to get caught up in the “should do” lists.  I appreciate the way that she shares her own experience to help us walk through the ways that we sometimes resist listening to the wisdom of our hearts and bodies.

And finally, Dr. Rick Hanson shares some thoughts about why we all need some degree of connection to those things that remind us of what is sacred–in both big and small ways.

That’s what I’ve got for you this week.  As always, please feel free to add a note in the comments about your favorite resource for the week.

 

Comments

  1. JoAnn Jordan says

    As someone who has experienced a few painful experiences, I would add it is sometimes helpful when people verbally acknowledged what has happened and ask how they can support the person. There are times when we are in the experience it is difficult to bring up the event as we are trying not to burden others with it. People acknowledging and asking opened the door to conversation if I so desired or to just acknowledge and move the conversation on to another topic.

    • Dr. Becker-Schutte says

      JoAnn,

      I think you hit on something very important. When friends and family acknowledge a crisis or a loss, they create an invitation to share feelings. If that invitation also includes permission to talk about something else, it offers support on multiple levels. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      Warmly,
      Ann

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