One day, shortly after my baby died, my mother came to visit me. She tried to comfort me but at the same time she knew that nothing she could say would make it better.
“I know I can’t really help you, Mollie,” she said. “I would if I could, but I can’t, and I’m sorry.”
Then she told me a story.
“When your dad left me,” she said, “A good friend of mine tried to comfort me. She prayed for me and did everything she could. But nothing helped. I was in so much pain, and as she talked to me, I looked at her and the thought came to me very clearly: ‘She can’t do anything to help me.’
“And that is the truth about friendship,” my mom went on. “Friends can’t really help you when you need it.
“Essentially, we are alone in this world.”
She was right, in a way. Friends can’t take your pain away.
Nothing she could say to me that day would help me feel better.
But having her there did.
It helped a lot.
Friends aren’t everything in life, and they’re certainly not perfect. But they’re good to have, anyway, if for no other reason than this: They are there. They are company. They bring pleasure.
And, a lot of the time, that’s enough.
It’s spirituality for the rest of us.
Eckhart Tolle is awesome. So are Byron Katie and all those Buddhist monks we hear about. Why, then, doesn’t their advice immediately solve all our most pressing spiritual problems?
Why are their results so difficult to replicate?
More Stuff to Read:
Some Spiritual Practices Actually Work. It’s Amazing.
There are hundreds of spiritual techniques for overcoming depression and increasing inner peace. Here, stories about the ones that actually work. (In some posts, I rate the practices on a scale of 1-10, too. Sort of like county fair pumpkins, but more spiritual.)
These Are the Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday
Kids, here it is. Have at it.
- Spiritual-But-Not-Religious Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday
- All Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday
I’m a Partner, a Mom, a Friend, a Mom, a Sister, a Daughter, a Businessperson and a Mom. Here’s What Helps.
Don’t read this section. It’s nonsense, mostly.
- My Mostly Ridiculous Self-Improvement Journal
- 150 Life Hacks for Getting Suddenly Awesome
- Suddenly Awesome Miscellany (And, Let’s Be Real: Book Promos)