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What Is The Power In Seeing A Friend In Pain?

There is power in witnessing someone in pain and seeing the power in their self-respect. What if your neighbor were hurting and you told them you’d be on their side? Why wouldn’t you? Because in seeing that in action and believing it to be true, you have the capability to provide them with comfort and support.

When a loved one is suffering through serious physical pain, it can be heartbreaking. When I was a new student, an ex-girlfriend came to see me in the emergency room shortly after the birth of our daughter. We didn’t know each other very well, but I was in tears about how our daughter had suffered a significant birth injury. Despite her pain, she was still warm in her bed with her baby and she smiled through it all. That smile was enough to warm me from the inside out and I felt like all the negativity I had stored up over years of relationship rejection and abuse could melt away. It’s very common for loved ones to be hurt in this way, and I don’t want to minimize their pain. I didn’t want to see her suffer or leave the hospital just because I didn’t understand it, but I also didn’t need to know what was happening in her. All I needed to know was she was smiling in her bed with our daughter in her arms, and the world was a better- place for having seen it. She was one of the beautiful people in my life, and I’m glad I made the decision to smile at her every day. That’s the power of this simple act.

It may be hard to see your loved one, because they aren’t always willing to put themselves out there in order to get your attention. They may feel ashamed of what is happening to them.  But if you want to be there as their friend, partner, parent, or coach, they will likely appreciate you spending time with them no matter what. They don’t have a lot of sympathy in their heads, but they know when you are there and they will have a reason to open up to you. I had to remind myself that you have nothing to lose by being there for someone else – especially during tough times.

If you can’t see your loved one right now, the best thing you can do is give them time over the course of the day when you aren’t thinking about them. Maybe just look them over. Don’t make a big deal of it. Just pay attention. Listen to their voice. Listen to their facial expressions. Obsess over their body language. Pay attention to whether that person is breathing and feeling well or if they’re in pain but breathing, their heart rate is low, their blood pressure is low, or their oxygen saturation level is low.

There are a few things you can say:

I’ve been seeing a friend that is just in pain right now. Do you have anything to look at?

I’ve been seeing a friend in pain. Do you want me to check in on them?

Is something wrong?

If you can’t see them, you have to be present and listen. Listen and validate their feelings as they tell you what they need and want from you. If you are not willing to offer help, comfort, or a shoulder to lean on, that’s okay. That’s okay! And there’s nothing wrong with that. It is called self-care and it is important. Just know that your attention is only going to go so far – and it’s up to your loved ones to help you know and care enough about your situation to really give you a shoulder to lean on. When someone needs you, you have to be there in some capacity. 

And you may notice that their pain makes you feel more hopeful about life itself if pain is associated with what is good and beautiful about ourselves.

We don’t have to accept all of our pain. We can choose to focus on what our loved ones are feeling, no matter what it is. It is up to us to take action and offer our support. When you are hurting, your own self-care will begin to be more important than others. And you need to do it.  

And don’t forget to take care of yourself, too.

What Is The Power In Seeing A Friend In Pain?

The Power Of Seeing Someone In Pain

Some people want to be at a funeral to gawk at the fallen, while others would rather stay in their pajamas and watch TV. 

While most people would choose to remain in bed all day, for those who can look at loved ones in pain, it is a gift to be able to gawk and see the power of someone else’s pain.