HOW TO CARE : THE IMPORTANCE OF AFFIRMATION
Living in total isolation and separation can leave you feeling unconsidered, less than real, invisible, uncared for, unrecognised, unknown, belittled, less than human even.
The need to be seen for who you are and what you have experienced and heard is massive.
Affirmation means to give your fullest attention to the other. It means to watch for non-verbal cues as well as the words someone is speaking. It means to convey both by your posture and look, that you really care what the other person is saying.
Even if you do not speak a word, you can still convey empathy for the person and what they are sharing, even if that content is painful, unresolvable or distressing. You must be very aware of your own posture, your body-language and the messages you are conveying non-verbally.
Sometimes words, opinions, positive thinking, finding solutions, suggesting actions, will get in the way of just being present and hearing the person, feeling their pain, conveying you are listening, not judging them.
Sometimes there are no answers, no solutions, no clear ways forward, just the speaking, the feeling, the sharing may be more than enough for the person.
To truly be listened to and heard is fundamentally validating. To feel safe enough to speak of a deep hurt or unmet need is everything.
To have someone else’s pure attention can be life bringing, affirming, healing.
To speak what might have felt unspeakable, in total safety, may be an incredible, brave first step to find balance and clarity.
To express out loud and hear yourself, in a safe space, may help you to work out for yourself what is needed, without any intervention from another.
To feel affirmed, valid, valuable enough to be truly heard, can work miracles of healing or become the first step in a long process of dealing with pain, grief, deep wounds, isolation, separation, negation.
Linda and Greg Crowhurst