Embarking on the profound journey alongside a friend or family member fighting cancer brings both challenges and opportunities for transformative support. In these critical moments, authentic and compassionate companionship becomes an indispensable lifeline. This blog explains some substantive ways to be supportive by moving beyond material gestures, being straightforward and meeting your friend where they are to raise the vibrations and maximize joy.
Breaking the Mask:
Encourage your friend to peel away the protective layers and reveal their true selves. In the depth of their struggles, create a safe space where vulnerability is not only welcomed but celebrated. In MOJO Rising’s podcast, dedicated to the topic of helping a friend battling cancer, host Julie Stevens said,
“Break the mask; don’t be afraid.”
Short and sweet...and to the point. This is one way you can be supportive. By fostering an environment of authenticity, you allow them the freedom to express their true emotions without fear of judgment. Be real and let your friend be real. This genuine connection forms the bedrock of meaningful support during their cancer journey.
In understanding your friend's needs, resist the urge to assume and instead, ask open-ended questions. This approach not only shows your genuine interest in their experience but also empowers them to share their thoughts and feelings on their terms. By actively seeking to understand, you deepen the bond between you and provide a vital channel for them to navigate their journey with greater resilience. By asking questions, you can be the catalyst for your friend finding peace and joy wherever they may be in their journey.
Using Your Strengths:
Leverage your unique strengths to provide tailored and meaningful support. Whether it's organizational prowess, problem-solving skills, or simply offering a compassionate presence, using your strengths adds depth to the assistance you can provide during your friend's challenging moments. Identifying and utilizing these strengths is a tangible way to contribute positively to their journey and a sure way to raise the vibration and maximize joy.
Performing Acts of Service:
Go beyond material gestures and consider performing acts of service that directly address their immediate needs. Remember when you read about asking questions? Here is where you use the information you learned to really serve your friend. From grocery shopping to handling day-to-day responsibilities, these acts of service allow your friend to focus on their well-being during challenging times. Practical support demonstrates your commitment to making a positive impact in their daily life.
Raising the Vibration:
Infuse vitality into your friend's life by suggesting activities that uplift their spirit. Encourage them to engage in hobbies, spend time in nature, or participate in their favorite activities. Maximize what you can in their darkest moments and really raise the vibration to a place of joy. Bringing up their vitality contributes not only to their physical well-being but also to a more positive mindset during the most trying moments of their cancer journey.
Don't Be Afraid to Say the Wrong Thing:
Acknowledge the complexity of the situation and embrace the reality that you may not always say the perfect thing. As Katy Mathes said on MOJO Rising’s podcast,
“This is life. We can either skate around the edges or we can live it.”
Don't fear saying the wrong thing; your sincerity and genuine intention to support will shine through. Open communication, even when imperfect, fosters a connection that goes beyond words, creating a space for understanding and shared strength.
Explore every avenue to maximize joy into your friend's life, recognizing the profound impact it can have on their overall well-being during the complexities of their cancer journey. Shared laughter serves as an antidote to the weightiness of their circumstances. Consider crafting positive experiences as these can act as therapeutic safe zones from the challenges they face. Celebrating milestones, no matter how small, becomes a testament to their resilience and offers a moment of reflection on the journey traveled. Make joy a constant in your friend’s journey and have a goal to raise the overall vibrations. By intentionally weaving joy into their days, you play an integral role in fostering a positive outlook that transcends the heaviness of their medical journey.
Supporting a friend through the lowest and darkest moments of their battle with cancer requires depth, compassion, and a commitment to breaking through masks, asking meaningful questions, and maximizing joy. While material gestures have their place, the true power of support lies in the emotional connections we forge. By being real, leveraging your strengths, and encouraging authenticity, you become a guiding light in their darkest hours, providing strength, solace, and a pathway to MOre JOy when it is needed most.