Being with suffering

Psychologist and former Trappist monk James Finley talks about the unique art of being with someone who is suffering without avoiding or invading the other's emotional space. 

 
 

For reflection alone or together:

Finley talks of being present to others in their "circles of suffering" without being personally overwhelmed or emotionally detached.

How do you know when you have two feet in another's circle of suffering? What are the signs you notice when you are emotionally flooded?

How do you know when you have emotionally detached from another's suffering?

Bring to mind a recent encounter where you felt you had one foot in your circle and one foot in the other's circle of suffering -- when you were genuinely present to another and to yourself. Describe this encounter. 

Next week: The art of being present 

Supportive Care Coalition