Dealing with a Friend’s Darkness
I am slowly walking down a lonely corridor. It is bright and sunny outside, but inside the shades of my feelings range from a misty gray to the blackest night. What was once a corridor full of hope and joy has now turned to painful attacks. I am walking toward my wife’s classroom ready to tell her that the time in this country is over. I have just been asked to leave the school, dismissed. It is one thing to be fired in your own country, quite another in a land outside of your birth.
If you were my friend and you were walking with me, this is what I would hope you do. First, let me have my darkness. It belongs to me so don’t try to take it away. Don’t tell me how everything is going to be OK, that this is God’s will, or some other cliché. Just let me know that I am not alone in the dark. Let me express every dark thought and feeling that I have.
I am certain that I will be fine in the future, but right now I need to have whatever is mine. They took away my livelihood, so let me have my moment in dark emotions. I need them. One day the light will break forth again, but now my only possession is abandonment. Let me be with it. Tomorrow I will be thinking of the new life ahead, but today I am just not understanding how people can treat others in this fashion. Let me have that mistreatment. Don’t tell me to let it go right away. I am going to let it go. Soon. Today I ask for your patience. Walk with me for a ways on my dark day so that I really know what abandonment feels like. Tomorrow I will return to my bright and joyful self, but not today.
There is a great power in being patient during someone’s trials. They need the difficulty and the negative emotions for their learning. Without them they have a hard time progressing. Ask a person how they are feeling. It is the power of being patient.