One of the most important things we can do for others is to bear witness. If you’re not familiar with the concept it refers to the process of observing, establishing and honoring the experiences, stories and life events of people close to you, some of whom may be suffering.
Having at least one person bear witness to your life can make it more tolerable if you are suffering physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. There is great healing and catharsis in being able to tell your story or share your fears and trouble with another person.
To be a good witness is to be good at listening, being empathetic, compassionate, and kind. Care about the person’s life. Love them.
You can bear witness to loved ones or strangers. We all need someone to see us, care about us, and care about what we are going through.
I learned early in my life how important it was for me to surround myself with people who could be there for me when I was having a crisis or emotional breakdown. And I was there for them as well.
Trauma victims often find healing in telling their stories as part of their healing process. Witnesses can be family, friends, co-workers, members of the clergy, psychologists, teachers, coaches, or even a kind stranger with an open heart and an open ear.
When you are feeling alone reach out to someone, tell your story, release your burdens.
And when you have the opportunity, bear witness for others.
We shouldn’t have to go through life alone, and thankfully there are so many people out there who are loving, compassionate, and caring who can bear witness to your plights.
Lucky is the person who has established relationships and friendships with such people.
I hope you have people in your life who can listen without judgement and offer support when you need it. A hug at the right time and place can really go a long way.