Solace, as is the case with many things, can have many qualities; some may shine more brightly for some occasions than others, and it is by having so many options that makes solace truly sparkle.
Discover the depth and breadth of solace.
If I am challenged by a particular problem or issue, it might be a good listener I want; someone who provides a sounding-board for me to sort through the options. Or, perhaps it is a guide I seek; someone who has been through a similar situation and can help me understand what I need to make progress; or, it could be a sage who provides me with insights from the words, expressions, and points-of-view they pick-up from our conversation. These examples represent the depth from which we can find solace.
But solace can also have breadth. What lacks in depth is made up for in variety. Calling a friend who is always uplifting and rarely, if ever, questions my motives or actions, or talking with a loved one who does just the opposite and questions everything, which can sometimes be helpful in filling in otherwise unattended blanks in a plan of action or perspective. Going out to lunch with a group of friends who can be counted on to help me forget my troubles and remember to laugh.
Solace doesn't always have to come from people, either. Watching one of my favorite comfort movies or books, which, for me, always results in some new insight or aha! moment when I’m most in need of them, or just snuggling with my child or pet, saying nothing, just being and enjoying the moment. I also have a favorite place in my house that I'm drawn to when in need of solace; our bedroom balcony.
“If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.” Yogi Berra
Recognizing who our go-to people (or pleasures) are for various types of comfort will help with developing a general plan to guide us when most in need of solace.
When we find ourselves in distress over a change or transition, we are less likely to think clearly and may forget to pinpoint the best person or situation to provide us with the right kind of support.
Distress is also the time when the right kind of solace can do wonders in helping us out of our chaos, and where the wrong kind can drive us deeper into it. So even if it doesn't seem necessary now, having a map in place for that rainy day, is both easy to do and a great proactive step towards comfort should you seek it in the future.
What's your roadmap to solace?
1. Take your list or mind-map of the various people within your support network and the types of solace you tend to desire in times of need that you prepared yesterday.
2. Indicate the type of support each person typically provides. Some people might provide more than one kind of solace (good listener, makes me laugh), others you may find don’t provide you with the kinds of support you typically need (too distracted to listen fully, likes to advise more than guide). That’s okay. You’re not grading people, you’re merely identifying those you want to rely on to help you when in a time of need.
3. Also prepare a list of favorite movies, books, music and/or experiences that help to bring you out of a funk or provide some form of comfort when feeling low.
4. Create a go-to list of the people you can call upon for different types of solace, as well as things and experiences you can partake on your own if/when your people aren't available, or it's 3:00 in the morning and you're needing a little comfort.
This list is your roadmap to solace and is a key aspect to a smoother transition to change. How to bring this roadmap to life for the people on your map will be the focus of tomorrow’s post.
What provides solace for you?
What kinds of things are you most attracted to when seeking solace? Walks in nature? A busy cafe? A certain type of music? I like different types of music for different types of solace. How about you? Leave a comment and let's have a conversation!
About the Author
Megan Rounds, Ed.D. is owner and principle perculator of perculcha, llc.
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