We think we know people. We think we understand what they are going through. We think we get it, when in reality what we get is the person they share with us which may or may not be exactly what they are thinking or feeling. The only way to truly know what is going on is to ask open ended questions then listen quietly while they share their answers. By taking the time to ask and listen it gives them the opportunity to confide, trust and reveal to us what is really going on in their lives.
Everyone has a burden to carry, something that is a struggle or issue with which they think is a unique to their life. It is when the door opens and they feel free to share their burden that they – and we – realize it is not as unique as first thought. So many of us struggle with similar issues thinking we are alone. The moment we share it with someone else the pressure valve is released because they confess that they have a similar struggle. Talking to someone, letting it out, allowing a glimmer of hope to break through the darkness, THAT is when the healing begins.
No one will know your burden unless you share it. Talk, text, email, whatever format best suits your needs. Let someone know the big or little, chronic or haphazard thing that is preventing you from being your best. We are better when we share, when we give someone – a friend, a family member, a colleague, maybe a professional – the chance to listen, empathize and relieve our challenge simply by letting us open up. It is not weakness to be challenged or perplexed. There is no need to feel isolated by a problem at work or at home. The moment we have the courage to ask for help is the moment when our burden is lightened. As Charles Dickens reminds us in these words, no one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another. Share, and let someone lighten your load. Chances are they will need that same service from you in the future.