Balancing helping with simply being there

As we travel through our life, we make plans, set our courses and expect things to follow the path we laid out with simple adjustments along the way. For the most part, things go along smoothly. Then, suddenly out of the blue, we are dealt a hand that we had no way of expecting. We do our best to do what we can to understand why, while starting the process to research, ask questions and do all the things that we are supposed to do to make sense of that which we have been handed.

Cancer is one example of those events. Whether it be a diagnosis that we receive ourselves, or by someone close to us, it is important to always remember that everyone has their own way of coping with their individual situation. Our first instinct is to be as invasive as we can, because we want the other person to know that we are there for them, while at the same time just wanting to make it go away. What we often fail to realize is that there is a need to balance support with letting the person experience their own journey, as they deal with their own issue internally. I have experienced this with my dad and friends with cancer diagnoses.

Our intentions are always good, but the reality is that cancer is personal and an individual journey for the person going through it. It is not the same for all people. How we deal with our journey in regards to unexpected life events may not be the same way that the person that we love needs to deal with theirs. We are different people, with different personalities and how we cope is sometimes outside the realm of other’s understanding. How individuals live their personal journey is theirs and there is no right or wrong way. Our responsibility is to find the balance of being supportive and loving, without being intrusive or over instructive.

One my my good friends, that recently experienced one of these life events, had an interesting conversation with me recently. I relayed a story in one of my posts about how I was with my dad at one of his transfusions and noted people in the room waiting for their infusions alone without anyone there. While my mom and I were there to support my dad, I felt sorry for those who had no one with them. What I failed to realize was that some people need to do things on their own as they move along their personal journey. It made good sense. While people do need us and want us to be supportive, there are times that they just need to go through things on their own as they try to figure out what life has dealt them and how they move on.

Those of us on the supporting end have a responsibility to find that balance between support and intrusion. We need to be there when they need us and step back when they need themselves more. It is important for us to understand it has nothing to do with us, it is just their way of dealing with the card that life has handed them.

Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.

Mornings with Ron is available at or on iHeartRadio, Apple or Google Podcast, Spotify or most podcast sites.

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