Can you pinpoint the feeling you experience when you see a stranded motorist on the side of the road? Or an overwhelmed parent taking care of a newborn baby? Initially, you might feel prompted to help but quickly list excuses that keep you from helping the ailing parent or the motorist. Occasionally I’m found in similar circumstances and thought I would share a recent experience that you may find yourself in one day.
I was at a local store grocery store when I ran into an old friend. He and I struck up a conversation and he began sharing information unknown to me regarding past grief. He mentioned he found great healing and improved mental health through counseling 20 years ago. As we were talking I noticed an individual close to us waiting in line to check out. The individual was very attentive to our conversation. His eyes were red and a look of sadness was observable. I could tell he wanted to join our conversation but just could not muster the strength.
I experienced the exact feeling described above. Do I engage the individual in conversation not knowing the direction it will lead? Or do I close the distance between my friend and myself to exclude the individual? We choose to open the conversation to the stranger and he shared a recent grief experience regarding someone close. The outcome was three human beings connecting to a similar life experiences. My friend and I were able to genuinely dispense hope and provide counseling resources to help the individual navigate through their grief journey.
I encourage you to extend a hand and perhaps step out of your comfort zone for a bit to offer support to someone who is looking for help. You do not have to be a clinically trained mental health professional to identify emotional pain. So I invite you to consider taking a chance the next time you experience the urge to assist someone because the experience you have might pleasantly surprise you.
Kingwood Psychotherapy &