My daughter Lorelai, when it’s time for a nap, becomes this little ball of terror. She tension releases by crying. The only thing to do is sit her on the bed and sit next to her listening while she cries. If you leave her alone she escalates, but if you touch her she also escalates.
So you just have to sit there for ten minutes and find your own inner peace.
Eventually she will crawl over, climb on top of me, give me a big hug, and BAM out she goes.
Today while she had her moment it got me thinking. We think we grow out of this kind of stuff, but we don’t. When dealing with a loved one who’s upset, different things work for different people.
Sometimes people just need to “let it out.” Ya know? Like Lorelai.
It would be wrong to just leave them because we don’t want to deal with it or we don’t KNOW how to handle it, because that makes our loved ones feel abandoned. And we can’t “fix it,” like Lorelai not wanting to be touched or held. We just have to be present.
Sometimes, all people need is someone who doesn’t necessarily understand, but someone who doesn’t mind sitting with them during their messy moments. Someone who’s okay with not fixing everything with the “just look on the bright side” advice. Sometimes people KNOW what they should do, but they’re just hurting right now; and we have to be okay with them being hurt and commit to being present while they hurt.
That’s tough, because we want to fix it. It’s uncomfortable for US to see our loved ones in pain. But it isn’t about us and whether or not we feel comfortable right now, is it? It’s about them. And what THEY need.
Emotions, even the negative ones, are good.
It means our cognitive functions are working. We should be more concerned with those who NEVER feel negative emotions. It usually means they don’t deal with problems, but bury them.
We can’t “power through” pain all the time, just like it would be foolish to power through a sprained ankle. You risk worsening the injury.
Sometimes it’s good to let it out and also be the person who’s willing to lend a listening ear. Just an ear, not necessarily a mouth.