One of the ways we get to grow and heal is to allow the pain and hurt those we love to change and heal us.

We heal, what we are willing to feel. Together. I’m no talking about letting other people walk all of us or mistrust, or abuse us. I am saying that love hurts at times. It’s supposed to. It’s supposed to stretch us and challenge us. Why? Because those are the places where we are in need of healing. Like a festering wound. Hot to the touch and screaming for our attention.

When someone we love, like our partner or our children, triggers or activates these old wounds they don’t mean to cause us hurt or pain. They are just the means that Spirit has brought us for healing. How then do lean into these tender places? How can we share these places so that it builds resiliency, compassion, and intimacy? How can we explore these areas through conversation and in community knowing that healing is sometimes comfortable and always calls for diligent attention and care?

Here are some tips on how to lean into these healing conversations:

1) Be softly curious.
Gently ask questions so that you better understand. Just saying, “I want to understand more..”  helps open up the conversation and let’s someone know you are interested. True, compassionate caring or interest is very different than indulging or catering to self-pity. Being deeply seen and heard is an important part of moving through grief and loss.

2) Allow yourself to feel.
One of the ways we short-cut our own growth is when we make it “their” problem without understanding that healing is a “we” project. In meaningful “we” conversations there is an exchange of emotions, we move from a place of “self” and “my feelings” separate from you over here and move beside one another and into relationship, feeling and find together.

3) Ask questions rather offering advice.
When you give advice, it can communicate the wrong message and even distract and confuse your loved one. Try to be supportive and keep the focus on empowering your loved one to find answers. Just asking, “How can I help” is better than offering unsolicited and often will lead to more powerful and insightful solutions.