I don’t know. I just don’t know where or how to begin on this one.
There’s so much that goes on in life. In my life, in my friends’ lives. So much is happening that I want to help but I feel that I am helpless to do anything but stand aside and watch life happen.
Fifty people were shot and killed over the weekend, and more than fifty more were injured. A hateful, senseless crime. I know none of the victims or their families personally and I live nowhere near them. I know that there is nothing I can do to help besides pray for the victims and their families and teach my kids to love and accept people and not to hate what they do not understand.
Closer to home I have friends who are going through situations of their own. Nothing as serious as life or death but definitely life altering situations nonetheless.
Again, I feel helpless. My heart hurts for my friends. I would love nothing more than to be able to make things right for them, do anything I can to make it easier for them. Yet there is nothing for me to do besides be their friend. Be the sounding board they need at the times they need it; when they feel like they have nothing left or no one to talk to. Offer my advice when it is asked for and hold my tongue when it is not. That last part is kind of hard for me to do, though.
I’ve been in their situations before. I do know exactly what each of them are feeling. I know how hard it is to make the decisions that they need to make. I understand how they feel and the thoughts that are going through their heads. I want to tell them exactly what to do, because it seems so clear to me looking at it from the outside. Part of me just wants to tell them “Been there, done that. This situation is only going to get worse for you if you don’t change it now.” But I can’t. I can’t because it isn’t my decision to make this time. And I can’t because that means opening myself up and fully disclosing my past mistakes. And, you know, admitting you are wrong is hard shit. And completely embarrassing.
I am good at reading people and situations. And so far I’ve been able to predict, with pretty astonishingly good accuracy, the twists and turns and consequences that arise in these situations. At this point I could totally say I told you so and shake them furiously until they listen to me. But I won’t. I’ll be strong and keep my thoughts to myself. I’ll sit by and offer advice when asked for it and try not to push too much.
The most important thing I think I can do for my friends is to say, I’ll be there for you.