Soothe, Don’t Solve

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Today’s lesson, Kim: “Soothe, don’t solve.”

Being a Human Being is hard. Being a compassionate, empathetic Human Being sometimes feels like the first few layers of my skin have been peeled off and all my nerves are exposed to the air like stingy road rash.

Just listening to one episode of “Making a Murderer” makes me sick to my stomach. Reading the comments section in almost ANY social media post sucks hope out of my lungs. Watching the nightly news creates a knot of anxiety in my chest, so I intentionally limit my exposure. I just don’t look.

People I know and love are struggling with job losses, and depression, and major health challenges. Kids I love are struggling to carry burdens that adults would drink to escape.

Good people are suffering – unexplainable loss and grief, questions and worry. Limiting exposure to another’s pain would mean shutting people out, or off. But avoidance only isolates. You… and me.

When I spend too much time and energy trying to figure out the big crazy stuff, the world appears out of control, unfair, cruel and random. Scary.

There is NOTHING I can do about the big crazy stuff. My opinion doesn’t matter. My wishes don’t make it stop. My worry is wasted energy.

And I need to be reminded – most people don’t want advice, or suggestions, or an annoying know-it-all offering information. (I do this all. the. time. Just tell me to zip it.) And most of us aren’t looking to debate or dispute – be convinced or shown the error of our ways. We don’t need more shame or blame.

We just want to be heard. Be seen. Be loved. To matter.
No one is asking for my input.
And I can’t solve anyone’s big stuff.
None of it.
Even when I really, really would like to.

But I can love.
And make a sandwich or a cup of tea.
And send words of encouragement.
Maybe give a good hug.

Soothe Kim, don’t solve.

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