Helping others can help heal yourself now

At a time where we’re seemingly more divided as a country than ever, it’s good to pause for a second and think about something.

We share a lot more in common than you might think. 

Case in point: I was trucking through the produce aisle of the grocery store when I heard it.

An exasperated cry from a woman ahead of me, as her purse was being overturned by the toddler seated in her cart. 

CRASH.

As her belongings poured out all over the floor, I could see (even from behind) she looked defeated.

Who knows what she was going through? A rushed trip to the store, trying to figure out what to make for dinner and keep her head straight while her overtired child was barreling toward “Breakdown City.”

I rushed over, bent down and helped gather all the stuff strewn about. (She had about as much in her bag as Karen’s “everything” bag.) 

When she smiled at me and whispered an earnest “thank you, sir,” out spilled 3 magic words from me, almost on instinct:

“I’ve been there.”

Now, listen. I haven’t had my purse spilled out in the store. But I have been at the end of my rope at the end of a long day. And I have been in charge of a wired and wild toddler (though it has been a few years).

But she knew what I meant. 

Because there are very few experiences in life that are entirely unique. We’re all human, after all.

These 3 magic words can really create a connection. 

Helping others can help heal yourself. From whatever you’re dealing with now. 

And knowing someone else has been there means whatever you’re feeling… you’re not alone

If you notice someone is dealing with a problem you’ve seen, felt or experienced yourself, you’d be surprised what happens when you offer a version of “I’ve been there” to them.

Offering a tired stranger a seat on a bus. A glass of water or a coffee to the guy rushing around delivering mail or packages. 

Or even a helping hand with the bags of groceries to the mom juggling a full cart and a mess of kids, trying desperately to keep the eggs from spilling or one of the rug rats from running off.

Because… haven’t we all been there, at one point or another? 

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Comments

Amaila G Valenzuela - January 24, 2022

Very will said as always sir. I am forever looking out to help others it is a great feeling it takes you away from what ever your going through your self. much love and blessings for a great week, God is great in this crazy world

Sharon Wurst - January 23, 2022

Thank you for this gentle reminder that kindness will bring more people together than judgement. While I’ve often rushed to help others in need, I’ve never thought to use that beautiful phrase, “I’ve been there”. Thanks again and I pray you and yours have a beautiful, glorious day today!

Jeffrey - January 23, 2022

Very true insight. I work at a gas station and I see all kinds of people walk through our doors. You can definitely tell which ones are having a rough day. Just that little bit of “I get it, I know exactly what you mean, or I’ve been there” does seem to help those who are having a bad day. Just knowing someone cares enough to say these things instead of “sucks to be him/her” can go a long way in helping our brothers and sisters have a better day.

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