Sometimes we have moments or days that are just bad. They are exhausting, long, tedious, overwhelming and just plain ol’ bad. They are full of doubt, self-hatred and many other negatives. Each person deals with these days a little differently, and how we react can make or break someone on that particular day.
I have a long-time girlfriend who can be a bit rough around the edges when she wants to be, but is also a big soft red panda on the inside! I love her to bits and pieces, and know that when she has a bad day, the worst thing that I can do is tell her the world is full of rainbows and light. It’s not in her immediate nature to want positivity on a day when things look gloomy and long, she wants real insight, quick witted jokes and a little bit of subtle love.
For myself, personally, I need love. I need rainbows and teddy bears to brighten my days. Without it I seem utterly lost. In my own life, I see no point of moving on until I see the sparkle and light.
Each person has a unique way of dealing with each day and each moment as we move through our lives. Although I wish everyone could see the positive side in each and every moment, I know that some folks need subtlety. Some people need to find the positivity on their own path and don’t need rainbows shoved down their throats!
I believe that in order to truly help someone heal, we need to give them the medicine that they seek. Most people speak in subtleties. In order to reach their world, all we have to do is ask. It may seem odd at first, but if you just ask the person what they need, you can really help them through their own process. Something as simple as “are you okay?” “do you want to talk about it?” “how can I help you?” can be just as effective as, “It will all work out” or “there is a lesson or message in this experience.”
By asking someone what they need, we are able to work into their lives and help them solve their own issues, or come to their own conclusions. With my girlfriend who needs subtlety, I always ask her what she needs. More often than not, I ask her if she wants to talk about – and when she says no, I ask her what she does want to talk about, or what she needs in that moment.
There are those days that we cannot make better. We need to take a nap, to disappear into our pillows like giant lions being swallowed by the earth. We need to cry. We need a shoulder. We need to be alone in our thoughts. Or we need love, cuddling and lots of positivity and light.
Whatever path you are walking, someone is walking with you. You may not know it, or even know them, but someone out there is experiencing something very similar to your situation. What would you do to comfort them? If you were not the person having an off day, what advice would you give?
Take a moment to think about it – and then ask yourself – or your friend: what do you or I need in this very moment? It could be as simple as a hug, or as complex as mending a broken heart. But whatever it is, asking what someone needs could be the first step to healing, and the first step to helping a friend, or yourself.
A few years ago, I was taking a class during my undergraduate class that talked about our love language. Each of us speaks and responds in a different language:
1) Words of Affirmation
2) Quality Time
3) Receiving Gifts
4) Acts of Service
5) Physical Touch
Through these five love languages, we respond, interact and experience life with one another. While some may give cards and send words of affirmation as a giving tactic, perhaps they are the same person who needs to receive physical touch in order to be healed. There are many quizzes and much information on the five love languages, and it is an interesting process to learn about!
By finding out what YOUR love language is, you will be better able to communicate to the ones you love what you need when you are having an off day. Do you, like me, need rainbows, love, light, yoga, naps & cuddling? Or do you, like my friend, need real words, quality time, popcorn and rootbeer?
Each of us has our own light, our own way of communicating with the world. Help yourself by finding your language and communicating what you need to others. By simply asking “what do you need?” we can accomplish a lot and begin helping someone to heal.
Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle!