Sometimes in life we can get to feeling pretty down in the dumps. Hardships come, breakups happen, failures occur, expectations aren’t met, health issues arise, we lose a loved one, and so on. Unwanted situations and things just happen at times on this journey, and we all need some spiritual support on occasion.
It is a valuable tool to be able to have the resources and ability to offer spiritual support to a loved on in need. Having a friendly and loving person to rely on when the road gets tough, can make the transition out of the rough patch much easier.
What does it mean to offer spiritual support? Do you have to be a clergy member to do so? What if you don’t know much about spiritual matters? You certainly don’t have to be a clergy member to offer support and encouragement to your loved on. It is also all right if you don’t know much about spiritual matters. The important thing is that you are there for your loved one – to listen, empathize with, and give a warm hug.
Of course it is nice to know what kinds of things to say or not to say when offering spiritual support. You don’t want to say things that will upset your loved one more or even try to “fix” them.
When a loved one comes to you in need of support, try not to jump into fixing their problems. To begin by saying, “You need to do this and this and that.” will probably not help your loved one to feel better. He or she wants you to listen and give your undivided attention. Say things like, “I really feel for you. It sounds like you are really hurting.” Then simply be present for your loved one with unconditional love and support.
Another way to offer spiritual support to your loved one is to sit with them in their time of distress without saying things like, “Oh, it will get better. Everything will be all right. Don’t be sad.” This is usually not helpful to the person having an issue. A better way of responding is to simply say, “Shew! Sounds like you are having an awful time. Please know that I am here for you no matter what, and I love you no matter how you are feeling.” This helps your loved one feel loved and supported, and gives them time to process their feelings.
To offer spiritual support means that you are in tune with yourself and the greater energy in the universe. Before you go and see your loved one, take a few minutes in solitude to gather yourself and align yourself with the infinite source of creation. You don’t have to have some superior spiritual knowledge or wisdom to offer, just be yourself. Offer unconditional love, listen, and ask your loved one if there is anything you can do for him or her.