As I tweeted sometime this week:
Time, to me, has become the greatest gift I can give and the greatest and most magnificent gift I can get.
When in hardship, the perception of time is very different. Hours tick slower, the clock seems lazier, breaks between a visit or a call of a friend seem like eternal solitude.
Any stretch of time is more difficult to handle because it is perceived as longer, emptier and heavier. Everything is more difficult to plan and even the most trivial task is difficult to achieve. Therefore, each day somehow gets very long.
This is the very reason why we should try to be as present as we can with those who we know are going through hard time. Paying a somewhat-regular visit, or a regular call can truly make a huge difference in their lives.
True compassion is the expression of love, and true love is offering our time and making ourselves available. As one of our readers said, “Compassion is putting yourself in the other person’s shoes to try to understand their suffering and to walk with them to try and alleviate some of their pain.” Being compassionate does not necessarily mean offering solutions but rather, being there to listen to who has the right to cry and suffer.
It’s enough to squeeze in a call everyday and let them know you are there to listen.
Do it as often as you can. You will make their never-ending heavy day shorter and a little bit less cloudy. When their storm is over, you will be blessed by seeing them walk on their own again and happy for the time you gave to serve a sacred purpose.
We often think that compassion has something to do with solving problems, giving advice, offering answers, none of this is part of compassion. Compassion is a way to listen, to offer yourself to the person struggling, a way to say, “I am here for you, I cannot stop the world and make it listen to your pain, but I can stop my day for a while to listen to you.” Lastly, remember, if life puts somebody in need on your path, there is something you should learn from their presence
Antonella Lo Re