Some of the nicest words a friend can say are, “I know what you mean.”

I recently passed by some women sharing a really intense friendship moment. They were leaning in close and one was pouring her heart out to the other. While one pushed back tears, the other patted her arm and said sincerely, “I know.”

That’s all.

She didn’t go into a long story about her own similar situation; she just showed her friend she understood.

That was such a reminder to me of the power of compassion. It’s such a critical thing to give and receive. Advice is good. Experience is important to share. How-to’s are practical, but sometimes, the best remedy for the hurt inside us is simply, “I hear you.”

This was even more evident to me when I was speaking at a recent event. One woman fought back tears through my entire message.  After the session was over, I had the opportunity to sit down with this sweet mom. Emotion overwhelmed her and she cried no less than ten minutes.  I simply held her as she cried. No words were spoken.

Before this recent dark season of my life, I would have been uncomfortable with this show of emotion minus words. Now I better understand the value of simply being present for someone who is hurting. Sometimes there are no words to say. Just knowing someone cares and you are not alone is all that needs to be accomplished.

What about you? Have you been on the giving or receiving side of simply being present for someone hurting?

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