"And there are those who have the truth within them, but they tell it not in words."
- The Prophet, Gibran
One of life's lessons I have learned at the gym has to do with spotting. Spotting is defined as the act of supporting someone during a particular exercise, with an emphasis on allowing them to lift or push more than they could normally do safely. There are times when we are lifting a barbell, get stuck, and need more than just a presence. In those cases, the spotter keeps their hand beneath the barbell and lightly touches the bar. Just that touch encourages us to continue lifting. The spotter will keep their hand beneath the barbell in case we run out of energy - or, more importantly, if we cannot lift any more.
There are times
in life when the weight
of our problems are too heavy to
carry alone. Those times might be when
we lose a loved one or experience some other
traumatic event. We need someone
who will help us carry the load.
In life when we find ourselves facing a difficult situation that we feel is beyond our strength, it is wise to ask someone to be our spotter. Often the spotter's presence and encouragement is all we need to get through a difficult and taxing time. We may not remember what was said, but we remember they were there. Their presence is beyond words. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness - rather it is knowing our limitations. The people who make a difference in our lives when we are trying to deal with a difficult situation are the ones who believe in us and help us use our own strength. They don't take the weight away from us, but they touch it in a way that empowers us to lift. They help us use the strength and abilities that are within us.
We have all experienced times when what we are trying to lift is too heavy for us. It is then that the spotter grabs the barbell and we lift it together. We need more than encouragement and presence in those situations. We need to rely on the spotter's strength as well as our own. There are times in life when the weight of our problems are too heavy to carry alone. Those times might be when we lose a loved one or experience some other traumatic event. We need someone who will help us carry the load.
There is a great analogy of a significant relationship in Hebrew Scripture. It compares a relationship with three strands of a rope. A strand by itself can easily be broken but when we wrap another strand around it, it is almost impossible to break. It is during times of trouble that we must use each other's strength to face our hardships and challenges.
Dr. William E. Austin is a licensed psychotherapist and holds a Doctor of Divinity degree. He is a therapist with Tidewater Pastoral Counseling Services . He is well known for his warmth and sense of humor. His book, Creating Our Safe Place - Articles on Healthy Relationships, can be purchased through www.amazon.com.
Tidewater Pastoral Counseling: 623-2700