Her Journey

#SOL19 – Day Seven


I heard someone say once, “if a person tells you a problem they are experiencing it is never appropriate to start telling them that you’ve experienced the same problem.  Like, if their dog just died, please don’t tell them about when your dog died.  However coincidental it may seem….they don’t want to hear about your dog.”

That advice has stuck with me and I really try hard to follow it.  I get it.  They are telling you because they must value you and your listening ear.  If you turn your listening ear into a blabbing mouth then their issue is no longer important.  Suddenly your similar experience has become paramount, and that just isn’t right – or helpful.

A friend recently told me that her husband has cancer.  This friend knows about my best friend’s battle with cancer 10 years ago, so I didn’t have to tell her, she already knew.  But, in my mind, and sometimes in my words, I relive that horrible experience from a decade ago.  I keep telling myself, be a good friend, don’t keep throwing your similarities into the conversation, listen, be there for her.  It’s so difficult because I feel like I can help her avoid certain things or to feel some comfort knowing that there are others out there who have been where she is now.  And, maybe that’s true.  But, mostly I just need to remind myself that this is her journey and hers is not the same as mine.  That is how I can help her.  And, that’s all I really want – is to help her.

10 thoughts on “Her Journey

  1. Guilty! I always felt I was showing sympathy when I tell about a similar experience–people want me to listen…not tell them my story. Thanks for the reminder and I hope for healing for your friend.

  2. Your presence and listening was exactly what she needed today. Your advice will probably come in handy on another day. I caught myself talking and not fully listening when a friend was sharing with me today. It’s so hard because I’m a fixer, and I just wanted to show her that she can and probably will find the light on the other end of her struggle. But…I can’t do that for her. That journey is hers. Your post really resonated with me today. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Your slice resonates with me on the deepest of levels. While I know this advice to be true, (no matter how loving my intentions), I always manage to to screw it up!!…Ugh!! I’ll take your words of wisdom as a friendly reminder and run with them.. I’m told it’s never too late to get it right! ha ha. Your friend is fortunate to have you there to help her through this,Carrie. I wish her well.

  4. Carrie-you must know, I printed and carry the slice you shared with me. The one you wrote years ago. Whenever I re-read it, I take it out of the notebook that I use to record questions, important information and other moments of this journey I don’t want to forget; the notebook you recommended I start. Many of the questions I have written down are those that originated from conversations we have had. The tears that I needed to let out, you’ve been there; open arms. The room we’re sitting in today, the doctors fighting this. All a result of your journey.

    I understand, our experience will not be the same. I get it, but I don’t want to go through this alone. Your help, comfort, advise, hugs, tears, connection. I need it and I appreciate everything. Thank you ♥

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