The world is full of people facing tough times, especially these days.  I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to love and support someone through tough times.  It’s easy to share the laughs and celebrations, but what happens when someone you love suffers illness or hardship, you know, Tough Times…

Tough times bring with them big life lessons accompanied by strong emotions.  I’m thinking of anger, sadness, jealousy, guilt, shame, and there are a bunch of others.   How do we love someone who is facing all of that?  I’ve lived through some difficult situations myself, and I was humbled by the people who stepped up to see me through the storm.  These are the ways they were there to lift me up.

They sacrificed for me.  A good friend knows how to sacrifice for the sake of others.  There are times where you will need to give MORE of yourself and your resources than others.  You must give to your friend freely, without thought of repayment.

They didn’t judge me.  Of course, in hindsight, it’s always easier to see where we went wrong.  The decision or decisions that lead to the tough situation some how becomes clear after the fact.  A good friend is just present for you, without judgement.  You will do enough judging of yourself, you don’t need someone else to do it for you.

They were honest with me.  Remember, we talked before about friends being able to see your situation more objectively.  They are going to tell you the truth.  Believe me, it’s not always easy to hear.  A good friend is willing to risk your anger, in order to tell you the truth.  Later, after your situation has calmed down, you will be grateful they had the courage to tell you the truth.

They made my friendship a priority.  Once you see a friend is in need, you will have to make a point to check on them regularly.  It doesn’t have to be 24/7 support, but calling or stopping by more than usual is necessary.  People in tough times isolate themselves.  They don’t want to face the problem or the people they hurt, so they shut out the world.  A good friend is able to see through the isolation and bring them back into the world, by making their friendship a priority.

How do you define friendship in tough times?   How do you reach out to others when the tough times belong to you?♥

 

P.S.  My Mom and I worked on this entry together.  She had some excellent points and I thank her for sharing all her words of wisdom.

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