5 Ways To Help A Friend Through Dark Times
“Transformation is a process, and as life happens there are tons of ups and downs. It’s a journey of discovery – there are moments on mountaintops and moments in deep valleys of despair.” Rick Warren
As we all know, love isn’t always easy. It doesn’t have to be romantic love either, it could be a love for a friend, your career, pet, or passion.
We all go through growing pains in life. We transition to new stages, find ourselves once, lose ourselves, and then find ourselves again. Sometimes this transformation can be exciting, other times it can be scary. You have to get through the lows to truly appreciate the highs. There will be many highs and lows in our lives, but how we handle them shows our true character.
Love with anything is a commitment; when you love someone or something, you are 100% committed to that person or thing. To me, that is what true love is. Love is not always a feeling, it is also a choice. A good friend of mine was in a very dark place for a few years. She was in a toxic relationship with someone who stripped her of all her happiness. She became a totally different person. The darkness consumed every ounce of her.
She was not the same, fun-loving, outgoing girl I once knew. That saddened me greatly, and I missed the person she used to be. It wasn’t easy being friends with someone who was in a valley. I battled with myself often debating if I should just make my life easier and walk away or stick around. Her anger, sadness, and unhappiness showed clearly, and I knew this wasn’t my friend. I also knew deep inside of me walking away wasn’t an option. That is not what a true friend does.
When you love someone and care about them, you stick by their side no matter what. How do you cope with loving someone when they are in a valley?
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1) Put yourself in their shoes
I know it can be a really hard thing to do, and you will never fully know what someone else is going through. But, trying your best to understand is the most open-minded and loving thing you can possibly do.
2) Ask yourself, “What would I want someone to do for me?”
This made a huge impact on me. Asking myself this question allowed me to be a better friend. I know if I were in a valley, the last thing I would want is for someone to turn their back on me. That would only make my valley deeper.
3) Give the best advice you know how to give
As stated before, you may not always know exactly what someone is going through. But, being a voice of reason and having a clear mind can really help someone out. Sometimes all someone needs is a little perspective and positivity to help uplift them. It is hard to see the light when you’re in the dark.
4) Be there unconditionally
I had my friend call me in the middle of the night at some points. When someone in a valley knows they have a shoulder to lean on, it can really make all the difference.
5) Honesty is key
Don’t ever sugarcoat anything. Be honest with your feelings and with the person you care about. Lying to yourself or others never did any good for anyone. Sometimes the truth hurts, but acknowledging the truth paves a better path for the future.
I am happy to say that my dear friend has transitioned out of her valley and onto a mountaintop. She is now in a happy, healthy, and loving relationship. She still thanks me to this day and says that without me by her side, she doesn’t think she would be where she is at today. It gives me great peace and gratitude knowing I was able to make a positive influence on someone’s life. Helping others is what life is all about. We all have our highs and lows, stay true and loyal to yourself and the people you love, and those who love you. You will be rewarded in the end.
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