If you're anything like me, there are some memories you'll hold onto for the rest of your life. You'll carry people and treasured moments with you - memories of another time and place, another set of circumstances. Sometimes you'll take them out, as you would a favorite photo from a shoe box and, for a few moments, allow yourself to simply remember.
A smile will light your face and eyes as you reminisce and feel the pressures of the moment fade into the background - until a sudden movement or interruption steals your attention. The memory is shelved for another time and place, though you don't have full control over when it will draw your attention again.
We all have bad memories and carry regret about one thing or another but, if you're anything like me, some of the good memories you made are those which should never have taken place, according to many people. However, I fail to see how an encouraging word, a hug and pair of listening ears should be something to frown upon, especially during periods of desperation. If a person seeks to understand another, it should count for something. If a person tries to help lift another from a dark and painful place, it shouldn't be considered wrong.
Granted, depending upon the situations of the people involved, things can evolve. Priorities can get mixed up quickly and relationships can be destroyed in the process, which is easy for an outsider to see. However, if you're anything like me, during the moment when you're feeling your lowest, you don't think about the spouse/family waiting for someone at home. Every thought you have is concerned with trying to survive the nightmare you've been dealt. The person trying to help you through the situation is considered a gift from Heaven itself.
When trying to help someone walk through the lowest valley of their lives, if you're anything like me, your first instinct it to help the person come through the ordeal without going through an increased level of anxiety and suffering. Everything in life becomes secondary as you're trying to encourage the person in front of you to choose life instead of committing suicide, to take a small step in faith instead of falling into the depths of despair. You say what needs to be said. You provide a listening ear. You try your best to understand, and reach, the person in front of you. In short, you do what needs to be done to ensure the person you're trying to help comes out a survivor.
Admittedly, my soul carries some battle scars - scars I would hope others never have to endure, yet I know many people do. They live with regret in so many areas - things they wish they could have done differently, said differently or not done at all. Yet, if you're anything like me, you've stopped berating yourself. You've said "Goodbye" to continually putting yourself down because you feel others think you should be doing so. Instead, you embrace the future, accepting your past for what it is - something which can't be altered or reversed - something you can learn from as you continue to take those baby steps forward each day you awaken and start another day anew.
If you're anything like me, you'll find yourself revisiting those memories, especially when times are tough. Your smile will light your face and eyes as you remember a time and place when, in your soul, you knew that someone cared enough to listen, regardless of what time would bring.