Being present with someone else is hard. It takes energy. Effort. You have to face your own pain in order to sit with another, going through their own pain. It's not just hard, it's scary. What if they get mad? What if they want to talk about dying? Or what if they have traumatic experiences you've never encountered? What if they aren't sure of anything? What if everything is too overwhelming? How do you sit with any of this? I find when I'm going through times like these, when I'm at the end of my resources and my everything is falling apart, and when I don't see a way up or out or through, I need to let my emotions take front and center stage. They have something to say, a story to tell, a gem to discover. Then, after my emotions have screamed, howled, and broken happy things, and maybe even run my throat raw, it's useful to be reminded I've made it out alive before, and I'll probably make it out alive again. It's also helpful to be reassured that other people have been through similar situations and that in all likelihood, it'll be tough, but I'll probably make it through too. And it even helps to think there will probably be something good that comes out of it in the long run somehow. I might have to seek out the good from it, it might be hard to find, and I might have to put on my hiking boots and treck into unpaved areas of the earth to connect with divine answers, but I believe that seeking lessons from these experiences is worth it. If I seek answers, answers find me, and my life is made a little more resilient because of it. Being present with someone means being affected by them and being willing to be present with yourself as a result. You change too, when you sit honestly with someone through their transformations. You aren't just a fly on the wall, you are a human being, and you affect and are affected by the reality of the people you interact with. So check with yourself to see if you are ready to go deep with someone before you offer to listen to their pain. Are you ready to face yourself here? You don't know what the Universe will ask of you when you get present with them, and present with yourself. Nevertheless, if you are ready, lean in.