I watched my friend get overwhelmed by the well-intentioned suggestions of how she could fix a relationship challenge. It could have been any number of issues. We’ve all been on the receiving and giving end of such suggestions. We want something fixed, and when someone we care for is struggling, we often want to tell them how they can convince another person to change. We suggest how they can persuade, convince, win. In other words, we advice people on how to get what they want. But sometimes, that’s not the next best step. We might need something else—something that can’t be tied up in a neat bow in a limited timeframe.
Fixing, healing, redeeming, forgiving is a process.
Our quick fixes for people to get what they want might end up creating more division and stress. What if we focus on coping strategies instead? What if we encourage people to attend to the process? After all, the result is often not as important as the process. I get it: the process can be frustrating and exhausting. But what is the worth of the result unless have pursued and persevered throughout pauses and hurdles?
Of course, I’m not referring to any situation that is abusive. I’m referring to those difficult challenges we often experience in relationships. It could be a friendship, family connection, or marriage. How well are we helping the people we care about?
Listen well. Respond well. Encourage well. We’re going to make a difference in others’ lives. Let’s make the best kind of difference.