When Someone You Love Is In Pain

When someone you love is in pain, you look for ways to be helpful.

When we love someone so much, it seems harder to see them hurting than to feel hurt ourselves. I find this especially true with my children. I’d gladly take their anxieties away even if it means I’d feel it stronger. In a way, I am feeling it because I love them but I don’t stay here because besides it doesn’t help them much.

In pain is in love

in pain using your love to heal

Pain is a growth mechanism for us. We can stay in bitterness and resentment when we are in pain, or we can grow, learn, make new meaning about our circumstances becoming more evolved than we were before. Pain can be an opportunity to go into ourselves and find out best parts. Pain is a testimony to what is important to us. Once we discover that preciousness, we can make choice in that direction bettering our life in ways we may have never thought possible.

I don’t want to keep anyone from this possibility, not even my kids. This is their journey. However, going it alone is not a good plan either. Developing and growing is far easier in relationship. In fact, humans are social learners- we learn faster and more in relationship. Some might argue relationship is the only way we learn. Our loved ones, colleagues, friends, and acquaintances are mirrors. They reflect back to us ourselves. We are all connected. Their judgments are a reflection of our own, their kindness is a reflection of our goodness. I want to reflect back as much goodness as I can.

We can’t protect our loved ones from feelings, but we can help them deal with them. And this can benefit them far more than living a sheltered life, with no experiences.

What do I do when someone is in pain

People ask me how I do what I do: Walk with people who are in (emotional) pain all day. But I have seen people who have come past their pain. Over and over I have seen people out the other side, maybe not glad they had the bad experience, but so glad of what it brought them. Because of this, I understand that pain is temporary, (much harder to see when you are in the midst of it), and that there are choices and actions people take to decrease (or increase) the length of time pain has a hold on them.

When people are hurt they are often clouded with victim thinking, or an “I can’t” mentality. Everything that they experience validates this. If I worry about them and focus on that pain and how unfair it is, or if I think I am helpless, I become a victim too, and they feel worse then they did before. The best thing to do is to see it differently: believe in them. Because our minds are connected, if I forgive myself for whatever they are grappling with, this will help them heal faster. If I right my mind and know they are not a victim, that they are divine light, then they will see that Self reflected back to them. Love them up instead of worrying yourself down. Know that what they are experiencing is just an experience. Your confidence in them will be contagious.

“When you do you allow people to have their experience without judgment and when do you intervene and offer assistance?” You are wondering. This is the million dollar question. Even harder when you think these are two different options. The answer is yes.

What do you do when someone you love is in pain?

Just a gentle reminder. Partners are invited to the Reclaiming Your Soul Retreat: Healing From Sexual Abuse and Assault April 11-13. Grasping a new identity and developing a strong sense of self love is easier to develop and sustain surrounded by our loved ones. Please consider joining us. It is time to register. What are you waiting for?


“For survivors, trust and abandonment are two of the core issues that must be resolved…When a partner’s overtures are met with distrust & suspicion, the partner’s natural tendency to withdraw triggers the survivor’s feelings of abandonment. This reinforces the validity of the survivor’s feelings & deepens the spiral of distrust & betrayal.” Ghosts in the Bedroom: A Guide For Partners of Incest by Ken Graber, M.A.

23 thoughts on “When Someone You Love Is In Pain”

  1. Great post! I was writing in my morning pages today about a trip I made during my healing journey and how scared I was setting off on that first trip alone. My parents dropped me at the train station and my fear must have been noticeable. They had seen me set of on bigger journeys by myself without fear so I know it must have very difficult for them to let me go. At the time of course I didn’t notice their pain, now I am so grateful for their love and support, for the lack of advice and interference, for the letting go.
    I am one of the lucky many who are grateful for what my journey of healing has brought into my life. It does change my attitude to the awful event that started me on the healing path, now I know that good things can grow from pain.

    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      Thanks Scrib, for telling that story. It would be hard for me to let my kids go, but only in a way. In another way, I’d be excited for their journey. But this would only come if I am alligned with Spirit and saw clearly, not if I dwelled in fear! i am grateful to your parents for beleiving in you!

  2. Harleena Singh@Freelance Writer

    You are so right Jodi!

    Everyone goes through pain, and that’s normal too. However, what matter is how we can help those people at that time, when they are undergoing the pain. I guess just being there, and for them, listening to them, and offering our shoulder at their time of need helps a great deal.

    I know how it gets when our kids or the ones we love are in such a kind of pain, and it pains our heart in return to see them like this. When we put ourselves in the shoes of another person who is in pain, we get a better understanding of things – that compassion and empathy develops.

    Thanks for sharing this with us, and have a great week ahead. 🙂

    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      You must be a comapssionate friend. I can tell from your writing. Indeed seeing from new perspectives help us grow and be more gentle with those around us. This is so important. I wish we were all taught this from a young age!

  3. Thank you for your wise and insightful post. This year I have watched both my son and daughter deal with their own pain and you’re right. It’s much harder to stand on the sidelines and see someone you love in pain. But they’re getting through it and I hope they’re growing.

    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      How could they not be? I am sure you gave them the tools and the love to do what they have to do! Thanks, Thelma, for heading over today. xoJ

  4. I think the worst thing we can do to help someone in pain is try to convince them “it’s not that bad,” or hurry them past it – and it’s more about us, OUR discomfort with sitting with their pain, than them.

    It’s instinctive – we do it with our children when they take a tumble, brush them off and tell them, “It’s not that bad.” But over time, having people from the outside try to rate our pain or compete with it (You think it’s bad you lost your dog to cancer? I lost my MOTHER to cancer) teaches us to disconnect and not really know how to feel or measure our own pain.

    We have to feel it to heal it, right? I am working more now on letting my friends and family explore their pain in their own way and in their own time, while being as supportive as I can.
    Beverly Diehl recently posted..Five Favorite Books – ONLY Five ?!My Profile

    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      I am glad you said that about wanting someone to be better for our own discomfort. Sometimes for our children we do have to put that meaning in as the meaning they are making have increased their probelm dramatically. It is about allowing and validating and then helping them make new meaning. Inviting them to step back from the problem and see it differently. Sometimes, “it is not that bad” is percisely the answer. But it comes from a validating place rather than invalidating. Ya know?
      We do have to feel it to heal it!

  5. Great post, Jodi! It’s so easy to want to reach in and fix whatever is hurting someone we love, but that’s not always the best thing to do. I tend to worry a lot, but when I foist that worry onto others, it doesn’t help them. Like you say, love them up!
    Tina Barbour recently posted..Anxiety and slowing downMy Profile

    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      I always think about a butterfly coming out of the cocoon. In needs to struggle to get the blood out of the wings in order to fly. If you help it, it dies because it is not able to do that. Very powerful message here!

  6. Hi Jodi,

    Great post!

    I cannot see close relatives or friends in pain and make a point that how my efforts can help them to reduce or alleviate that. I go all out to help. Very difficult to hold on and wait for the things to happen.

    Thanks for this great share.


    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      You can contribute in many ways. I don’t mean leave them alone. Just saying offer but make sure you are doing it believing and empowering them. Some times when we take over for someone we take away their empowerment. This can hurt them. It’s the give someone a fish they eat for a day, teach them to fish they eat for a lifetime!
      Get it?
      I never do nothing. But I do it with respect. And trust.
      You’re a great friend!

  7. I once read an Abraham quote that said that if you focus on someone’s problem, it doesn’t help, and it just makes you part of the problem, so focus on the solution. Sometimes this may feel like you’re being less empathetic, but I guess it’s like you said, you can be/do both — be empathetic and also not dwell on the problem/pain.
    Laura Zera recently posted..Travel: Suriname’s Amazon Jungle – Part IMy Profile

    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      Great point!

      Life is multistoried. Both stories need attention but in different ways. The problem needs to be deconstructed and the solution needs to be constructed and imbued with power.


  8. So true, especially, as you said, when it’s our kids. I have really been challenged to support my kids through some very difficult times without trying to fix it or avoid it. I have to remind myself that I do not know their path, in the sense of knowing what is truly for their highest good. I have to trust the universe to protect their steps. Very wise post, my friend.
    Galen Pearl recently posted..My Best Friend…AgainMy Profile

  9. I don’t know that I have thought about it that much. I listen not judgmentally, talk, laugh, hold them, do as much as I humanly can. I accept for some this is not enough some of ht time. I believe a friend can often guide a troubled soul to the next step and hope they see it, trust in the greater Universe to take care of them. Still, there are those like you who are can help much more. Thoughtful, Jodi. I know you must be amazing with your clients. I do wish we lived closer, I’d love to walk and talk of life and our perspectives.
    brenda recently posted..Interviewing for a Writer’s JobMy Profile

    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      Brenda, I would love nothing more than to walk and talk to a person as filled with passion as you! I think I will take a US tour!

  10. “When we love someone so much, it seems harder to see them hurting than to feel hurt ourselves.” It is always the case with someone we love very much, but it’s not necessary to have the love connection. It is the case every single day. If I just one time watch TV, I’m sure I will have for days some people constantly on my mind who are suffering. In fact, it mainly happens when people are enduring something I have experienced. It hurts to see a war, crimes, abuse, orphans.
    Nikky44 recently posted..Guest post: An open blessingMy Profile

  11. I was amazed to see a quote from Marianne Williamson. I used to keep myself going by listening to her on the way to work every morning. When I stopped, I started having problems. You also talked about the connective quality we each have to affect another. I truly believe we give off good and bad “vibes” for a lack of better terms. I really enjoy reading your posts.

  12. “Pain is a testimony to what is important to us”.I love this.

    “If I worry about them and focus on that pain and how unfair it is, or if I think I am helpless, I become a victim too, and they feel worse then they did before”.I think i’m starting to understand.

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