Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you fulfill the law of Christ.”
Recently, I had all four of my wisdom teeth extracted. Reason? They were impacted and had been the source of recurrent infections for about a year now. Frankly, this procedure had been long overdue, and I was just happy to have finally gone through it.
The first four days after the procedure was done were no walk in the park. My jaws were aching, my throat was sore, one of my cheeks was swollen and all I’d been able to consume included, and was in fact limited to: porridge, soups and ice cream. I was starving!
All the while, I was blessed to have caring and supportive people around me who attempted to cater to my slightest of needs and tried their level best to make the whole thing a tad less miserable. These people lightened the mood and were comfortable enough to make silly jokes about my fat face…my face was really fat ha! Like Greg family guy fat. Look him up. They knew just how to calm my nerves and most importantly restored some form of normalcy to whole thing.
Well, this was merely just another dental procedure and certainly not the worst thing to have ever happened to anybody. Sometimes though, life can happen. Life can really happen. Life can hit you with the loss of a loved one, a major illness, the loss of a job, a personal injury, a breakup; the list is endless.
Life is unpredictable. That I’m sure you know. In fact, nothing is certain but death and taxes. In the LIKELY event of a life stressor, you know when life decides to happen, the right company goes a long way. The right company might be what gets you to the next hour or day and might even help you cope with the stressor. The physician never healed himself. No man is an island. We need each other.
I’m not a fan of lists, and quite frankly I wouldn’t encourage you to criticize or evaluate someone based on one. However, should life throw a nasty plot twist at you or should you find yourself feeling down in the dumps for whatever reason, the type of people you surround yourself with matter a lot. I personally, find the following types of people the most encouraging to be around:
1. People who I can read the bible and pray with.
In hard times, my biggest comfort is prayer and God’s word. Prayer can be very uplifting in tough times and the Bible provides so much inspiration and strength to cope with hard times. It’s so refreshing to have a friend or partner who in such times is able to take time to do this with me. To just lay my burdens at His feet and find encouragement in God’s word.
2. People I can freely open up to.
It is said that a problem shared is a problem half solved. I find it very lightening in tough times, to be able to talk to someone about what I’m feeling. Not just anybody, but someone who will listen to me without judging me and whom I can trust. When someone is really truly heard and another person really truly listens, that’s when real healing can occur. Never underestimate the power of a listening ear.
3. Someone who can be truthful with me.
A contrast to number 2; there are times when I need someone who will not shy away from telling me the painful truth. Someone who will be completely honest with me without fear or favor, for example if I’m wallowing in the victim role for too long as is often the case in misfortune. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”
4. Positive people.
Make a conscious effort to surround yourself with positive, nourishing and uplifting people. These people will help you clear the negativity that might be surrounding you at the moment, and will help you create more room to welcome renewed positive energy.
5. People with a good sense of humor.
I have been accused of having the worst sense of humor. No comment. 😉 But I do not take lightly the ability to enjoy a good joke here and there especially when there is very little to laugh about. Laughter heals us both physically and emotionally and should be maintained at all costs in tough times.
6. People who can be selfless.
As selfish as this sounds, sometimes we need to put ourselves first, and we need someone who can selflessly do the same for us. Not because of any narcissistic reason, but simply because we are at our most vulnerable and need all the TLC we can afford. Having an individual who can lovingly and willingly do this is priceless.
Having even just one if these types of people listed, can do you all the good you need to get back on your feet. This list is in no way conclusive or exhaustive. There are so many other individuals who come through for us in tough times, who I might have forgotten to mention. What would you add or remove from this list?
“A meaningful life is not being rich, being popular, being highly educated or being perfect. It is about being real, being humble, being strong and being able to share ourselves and touch the lives of others. It is only then that we could have a full, happy and contented life.”