What people actually need

By Dave Henning / May 5, 2024

“Sure, there is a time and place for follow-up questions, suggested solutions, and actions you or the other person might take.  But generally that isn’t what people actually need.  Most people know the right answer.  We don’t have a knowledge problem.  The problem is that we feel unsafe and unloved and unseen.  We won’t move toward healing until these wounds are addressed.“- Jennifer Allen (bolding author’s)

“We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance character, and character hope.  Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”- Romans 5:35 (NKJV)

Jennifer Allen concludes Chapter 11 of Untangle Your Emotions as she notes that mourning with those who mourn actually helps and heals us.  Thus, when we share our story in safe, connected relationships, it’s possible to heal the brain.  Hence, Jennifer sees little good in a million feelings if they fail to bring healing and wholeness.  Those feelings only bring healing and wholeness when the connect with each other.  And with God.

Certainly, Jennifer acknowledges, appropriate times exist for sharing solutions, ideas, explanations, thoughts. However, we’re already experts in sharing our thoughts!  As a result, we need more practice leading with emotion.

In conclusion, Jennifer offers words of encouragement and hope.  She writes:

“Resilience grows as we notice, name, feel, and share our feelings and in doing so learn that we are seen, soothed, and safe. . . .  The hard stuff is actually building us into who we are, as the apostle Paul knew so well. . . .

Hope doesn’t disappoint us, because we have the rope of emotions connecting us, pulling us into each other and into God.  The gift of feeling and moving through the dadgum middle of it together.  It is an agonizing beauty.  Feelings don’t heal when we ignore them; they heal when we are wrapped up by the people we love in the middle of them.

Today’s question: Do you agree with Jennifer that feeling safe, loved, and seen represents what people actually need?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The chaotic knots in our souls”

About the author

Dave Henning

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