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“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn.”

That’s what God says. Our Maker knows how He created us. We need people to agree with our spirits. If we’re happy and joyful, we need people to join with us in celebrating. We need the joy of having good times together with other people, to laugh and joke and enjoy good times. It’s good and healthy. And when we’re mourning, we need people to mourn alongside us. We need to not feel on an island when we’re sad. We need others to be sad alongside us.

We need people living alongside us, supporting us, and living emotionally with us. It’s like other people walking in our emotional footsteps. We need that. We need them to say: “Yes, that was wrong,” “No, they shouldn’t have said that or treated you that way,” “Yes, you’re justified in your feelings of hurt.” We need those words; not in a superficial way, but in a true and authentic way. When they say that, their words should ring with truth, and we say a heartfelt: “Thank you.”

I’m finally reaching a point where I’m able to communicate that to those close to me. I can’t even describe how important it is to me to feel supported in this way. I feel less like a lone wanderer and more like a warrior in a company of other warriors who will defend me as vehemently as I would defend them. To have those I care about stand with me in this is one of the most important things I need.

While I have no problem standing up for others when I see an injustice, I struggle with standing up for myself. I need others to walk in my emotional footsteps, to see things through my eyes as well as my own, and to say: “They should not have said that. You’re right. That was wrong of them.”

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