Just Stop

Photo by Wendelin Jacober on Pexels.com

I’m having a difficult time with the word “just”. Or to be more precise, all the words that often follow the word “just”.

When I lament that I’m weary of waiting for Mr. Right to show up, someone will say,

“Just be patient!”
“Just put yourself out there!”
“Just get out and do what you love!”

I’ve “just” done all those things and he still hasn’t magically appeared. Well, maybe I haven’t been patient enough, but I have put myself out there, wherever out there is. I’m doing what I love.

I know when people say these things they have good intentions. I know they mean well. I know because I’m guilty of saying these exact same things. When someone close to me has opened up about battling depression, I too, have offered a few “just do this” suggestions.

“Just take Vitamin D!”
“Just get outside in the sunshine!”
“Just exercise!”

But once I begin to better understand what depression is like and what someone is going through, I see that my responses are woefully inadequate. Things are often much more complicated than a simple “just do this” answer. And sometimes we can do all the things we think will make a difference and still not end up with the outcome we’d like.

It can be hard to hear someone’s pain and not offer suggestions. I want to help my friends. The fixer in me wants to make things right. And I know others want to do this, too. But more often than not, many things are out of our power. Sometimes, as much as we’d like, there’s little we can do to change things.

But what we can do is be present.

So the next time I find myself beginning to spout a “just do this” reply, I hope to remember to just stop.

And instead offer a hand or hug.

And just listen.

10 thoughts on “Just Stop

  1. Wonderful post firefly! Just… keep writing them! Stopping to listen. To stay present. That’s a life long lesson I fail at every day. But I’m getting better. Slowly but surely. Wishing you well 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We are all works in progress till the day we die – to think otherwise is dangerous, yet we must also learn to accept ourselves as we are today. That is one of life’s great paradoxes 🙏

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for this. I have come to think of “just” as another four letter word. I find myself using it, too. And I’m trying to pause before I say it and listen instead. Beautiful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I echo previous comments over the beauty of this post. Simple elegance my darling. I use that word all the time, and it’s really started to bother me recently. Thank you for this. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like your conclusion, ‘just’ be present. Being in the now has power to suppress to a great extent our worries about the past and anxieties about the future. A continuous life long lesson..

    Liked by 1 person

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