Still Waters

26 Feb

Sometimes when we’re interacting with others things don’t go as well as we hope. There may be friction and disharmony, and sometimes we don’t know why it happens. Perhaps someone gets angry over a suggestion we make, or is offended by something we’ve said, and we have no idea why they reacted the way they did and they won’t say. It can be confusing and when we’re trying to get along or get something done, it can stop us in our tracks. If we know why the problem occurred we can try to address it, but if we have no idea what went wrong, we may be lost. People are complicated and we can only see their external appearance.  We don’t know what’s going on inside them.  Many of us are private and don’t express everything we’re going through to others, and prefer to keep our challenges or struggles to ourselves. If we encounter conflict and don’t know what happened, it may be that someone is struggling with an issue of which we are unaware. They say still waters run deep, which means that although things may look calm on the outside, there may be a lot going on under the surface. When we’re dealing with others it’s important to remember we never know the whole story.

If we have someone in our lives who is moody, or unpredictable, we may try to avoid them until we must talk to them because it’s uncomfortable to deal with them. If they talk to us we might try to keep things light and superficial. We don’t know why they are the way they are, and that should be a clue for us. Perhaps it would be wiser instead of ignoring them, to seek them out just to say hello and let them know we’re thinking of them. If they are struggling privately, a few words of support and encouragement, or a kind word that shows we care can mean a lot. If we take a moment to remind them we are there and value our relationship with them, it can lift them in ways we can’t imagine. They may not tell us what they’re going through, but knowing we’re there may help them get through it more easily.

If we are struggling with a private sorrow, or a difficult challenge, and don’t want to share it with those around us, we may keep it to ourselves. But the stress of holding onto something painful may intensify our interactions because we are distracted and worried. We don’t have to share anything we don’t want to, but when we don’t share we have to carry the burden all by ourselves. Sharing the load always makes it lighter, and if we can open up to someone we trust and let them help us we’ll feel better.  And talking about it may help us find solutions that have eluded us. We can be private but if we let someone in, and listen to their advice and counsel, we may more easily find our way. Sharing our troubles often takes us a long way down the road to resolution. We may find the answers more quickly and if we do, it’s worth the effort every time.

Today if you’re struggling with a private matter think about seeking advice from someone you trust. If you share your dilemma with them things may go more easily.  If someone near you is edgy, offer a word of encouragement and let them know you care.  We’re all looking for answers of some sort.  Reach out and offer a little comfort, and let others comfort you.  They’ll feel better, and you will too.

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