struggling together

Kind of a new experience today. Usually when people share their struggles I can’t relate to them (not to say I have none, but different ones). So I do my best not to look concerned which on my face looks about the same as disapproval, and try to help without rambling on in guy fix-it mode. But today I had someone sharing something with me that I’ve actually struggled with. Though I’m not sure how much they realized it was a struggle, first talking about it with a bit of male braggadocio.

In light of that, I first wasn’t really sure what to do with the information. I definitely didn’t want to just unthinkingly go along, giving weak approval. But I didn’t just want to flatly disapprove and lose trust when tact could keep it. After listening some more, and praying for direction, I began to realize the struggle behind the boast. Though I was still a little unsure how to help, perhaps a little from pride, but also not wanting to have a little pity party.

But eventually it came to me that I could share my struggle in a way that wouldn’t be boasting, self pity, nor condemning. Essentially I identified with him, while recognizing it was a problem for myself, naturally suggesting it is a problem for him as well. Not only focusing on the struggle, I also looked at where I am now and how I’ve found it to be better. He seemed to start recognizing more openly that it was a struggle, and not simply the way things are. He was also a bit surprised I had the same experience and began to open up more in light of that.


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December 2008
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