People find themselves in life situations they need to complete and understand. True compassion is allowing them (or yourself) to work out what they need to.
We allow children to learn the lessons they need. Well, adults are trying to learn lessons too. Why not extend that same courtesy to them? Let them work it out. It is likely not rational or intellectual. They need the experience- so they can understand it. This allows them to complete the lesson or accept the truth. Then they can move onto something else.
A classic example involves a middle-age guy buying a sports car. Or maybe he is hitting on younger women. What is our
first response? We tend to judge it. We say he is pathetic or shallow. We fail to offer our friend the support he needs.
Why not celebrate your friend's mid-life crisis with him? Go with him to pick out the sports car. Encourage him to ask out the younger woman. Let him work it out. With a little support, he will move through this challenging time.
Or... say a forty-something woman "gets some work done." Or say she is suddenly wearing clothes that are too young for her or spending a lot of time to how she looks. Again, we tend to be quick to judge. Here she is grieving not being as youthfully attractive as she used to be. Trying to adjust to how men now treat her differently. How do you respond?
You could support her. Dress up in your hottest clothes and go out on the town with her. She will work it out. She knows what is going on. She just needs to work through it. Are you strong enough to support her in her time of need?
About the Author
I, Michael Hoffman, am a licensed psychotherapist, teacher, and author with 25 years experience in counseling and teaching experiential workshops. I have maintained this blog since 2009 and will publish my second book Natural Way of Being in 2018.
I offer in-person and video-conferencing counseling, intensive workshops, and online courses to allow participants to directly experience their natural way of being and the life they would have for themselves.