Today, Joelle and I discovered the sapling we planted just outside our backyard had been mowed down. She was very upset. What do you think would be the common thing to say? “We can get another and plant it dear.” Right? That was my temptation. Fortunately I held off and just talked and listen and hugged as she cried for quite a time that afternoon.

In another situation, a gentleman in group shared a deep doubt and emptiness. I watched and listened as some group men sought to rescue him out of this deep hard place with reassurances and affirmation. It didn’t work. I didn’t think it would.

Being with another deeply can only happen when we can be with our deepest emotions of longing and loss.

We so naturally respond to others like we do to ourselves. We think helping is to fix feeling. That means get rid of them as soon as possible. Not only feelings but any deep dark thoughts of emptiness and self-doubt we try to give a response to dismiss it. In both, we attempt to shut down the angst of these very deep core wounds that get manifested with thoughts and feelings as life events occur. We see these expressions of deep stirrings as a fire that needs to be put out. So as good firemen, we come to the rescue.images

In men groups I lead I ask the question, “How comfortable are you with being with your own anger, sadness, fear, shame, self-doubts and emptiness?” We explore this and discuss what they try to do to detach from these deep feelings and thoughts. As they identify their compromised solutions we explore how they do something very similar in various relationships. Staying with it within ourselves very much parallels how we stay with others in those deep hard emotions and thoughts.

Staying is a waiting process. It is unhurried without an agenda to wipe anything away. It can be very uncomfortable. Growing in the deep places with others only can occur as we grow in staying in our own deep places.