Sticks and stones may break my bones…
It is honestly a baffling manner trying to encourage and/or motivate someone out of depression. I don’t say that out of disrespect towards anyone who is struggling (I, myself, have dealt with this issue on many occasions) but it is the honest truth. The fact is that there are no amount of words that you or I could ever say that would bring someone out of their hopelessness.
It’s just not going to happen.
I have often thought, wondered, and even been asked how one is to cope/help/stir someone who is so lost in their own sorrow. People simply want to know how they can best help their loved one or friend escape from the clutches of their perceived “lostness”. Automatically, one is motivated to speak. An abundance of words would, to most people, be of great use in motivating the depressed to action. My question is this…How do you, an outside source with no earthly idea the extent of their pain, motivate those who cannot motivate themselves…with words?
Can I be honest in saying that it is highly likely that words were the catalyst to their current state? I mean sure, actions speak far louder than words but language is what affirms the motivation behind the giver. Words add validity to what they are already thinking. Speaking from experience I know that I was never in need of someone to come along and tell me that I shouldn’t feel the way I do (I already knew that). I was never in need of someone to tell me that as a Christian I should be happier because God was in my life (I already knew that). See, I already knew the logical answers. I was fully aware of what I should’ve been feeling, thinking, and doing…but my awareness never once deterred my feelings.
It is in these moments that two things must happen.
1.) The afflicted soul must come to grips with the reality that what they are feeling and/or experiencing is nine times out of ten irrational…and that’s ok. In order to best move forward we have to know where to start.
2.) The motivational coach of the situation has to realize that they are practically useless here. I don’t mean that rudely or as an encouragement to do nothing but I simply say that they cannot approach this situation thinking that they are superman. The worst mistake someone can make is thinking that they have all of the answers….Simply put, you don’t and there’s a reason…You haven’t taken the time to try and understand where we are coming from.
Talk is cheap but a listening ear is richer than gold to those who are without hope.
My constant advice to those who are wondering, to myself is this: Listen before you speak. Take the time to try and best understand the circumstance of the other individual, why they are feeling the way they do, and be extremely slow to give practical advice. Odds are, they already know what you’re going to say. The best way for a sad soul is to know why they feel the way they do and they cannot do such a thing if no one gives them a chance to express it.
But words will always hurt me
If you happened to find this blog helpful, scroll to the bottom and share it! If you enjoyed what you read leave a comment, like the post, or enter your email address to subscribe for more “Confessions”. God bless you all!