Recently, some people very close to me have been dealing with some really tough things.  Every part of me wants to jump in and take away their fear, frustration, uncertainty, and hurt.  And believe me, if I could, I would do it in a heartbeat.  But I can’t.  And it’s been making me feel incredibly powerless.

As I’ve laid awake the past few nights I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.  Mostly I’ve been thinking about perspective and working on countering my feelings of powerlessness.  I’ve come to the conclusion that while there may not be anything I can do to physically change the situation or take away all the bad things, I can still love.  I can tell the people who are sitting in the shitty situation that I care about them, that I love them and that I will always be here for them.  It’s not a lot, but it’s something.

I think love can be way more powerful than people realize.  We place so much value on fixing things and making things whole that when we’re in a situation that just doesn’t allow for that yet, we feel like we’re failing and letting people down.  But, in my opinion, showing people (and even better, actually telling them) we love them is just as important as actually fixing whatever is wrong.  I think it’s important to believe that loving someone counts as doing something for them even though it doesn’t produce physical evidence.  It’s in our nature to protect and look out for the people who are close to us, but sometimes there is really nothing we can do.  And while this has got to be one of the most frustrating feelings in the world, I think it’s important that we try not to get upset when we can’t provide them with something we can actually see.

So, if you’re sitting on the outskirts and watching people struggle with a hard situation I have two things to say to you.

  1. I am sorry that life is hard for you right now.  I’m sure you’re thinking that life is way harder for them than it is for you, and it very well might be the case.  But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t hard for you too.  Watching as somebody hurts and worrying about them isn’t exactly a walk in the park.
  2. Don’t try to fix it if you can’t.  If you know that you have no control over what happens, just let them know you’re there, that you care, and accept that that’s all you can do.  It sucks, it’s frustrating, but it’s enough.