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Hope Forward: Surviving and Thriving through Emotional Pain: Vampire Love, Comfort and Guides

Friday, August 15, 2008

Vampire Love, Comfort and Guides

Lately I've been hearing a lot about Stephenie Meyer and her books on vampires and love. I have to admit that I have not yet read them... though I am hoping to. But I am thinking a lot about the themes that come up in my office that are connected to these books.

Love, for one. And pain. And decision making. Oh, and growing up, dealing with difficult parents, and having someone to protect, and comfort you, and someone to consult with. Just to name a few.

No wonder lots of you are gobbling up her books, escaping into dreamy desperate love and connecting to the agony of difficult decisions. And maybe, looking for clues about how to live life and get through when its all so crazy sometimes.

The thing about hurting is this: it helps to be able to say it all out to someone reliable. Not someone who will (oh, forgive this) bite you. Talking to someone who you can trust not to tell you that you should "get over it," snap out of it," "forget about it," someone who will really give you a solid dose of understanding, goes a long way. Of course, finding such a someone is not always easy. It has to be someone who has the ablility to tolerate their own feelings of discomfort and yours as well. Someone who is willing to take a seat next to the part of you that is aching, and just be with you for a bit.

Lots of times people who are close to you are in a hurry to fix your pain, fix the problem or make it go away. Sometimes its out of love, sometimes fear, and sometimes, just not knowing what to do. Sometimes its other things that get in the way. They may never have been listened to well themselves, and don't know how. Either way, you may not get the understanding and guidance that you might want or need.

What to do? A few things. Know that its very human to need someone to trust, guide and comfort you. But you may not be able to get all that from one source. You may have to look to a few different sources. But look. Consider all your options: a teacher, a peer, a parent, a counselor, a therapist, a religious leader, a family friend.

And consider telling them what you need: a good ear, some understanding, some comfort. And advice only when you ask for it. You may have to be willing to train someone, but it will be worth it.

And if you are not finding a human so quickly, you can create your own comfort guide. You can dream up in your mind the ideal guide, a protective angel, a loving counselor. Give him or her all the best traits you can imagine. And let them only say good, kind, loving and reassuring things to you. Guides are positive, and direct you toward safety, grace and life. They remind you that you are valuable and good and that things can get better.

Give yourself the freedom to bring some company into your weary heart. It helps.

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