Let Me Be Weak: What People in Pain Wish They Could Tell You by Brittany Barbera

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What do we do when we are shattered by an unexpected loss and feel like no one understands what we are going through?
How do we comfort those we love when their hearts are breaking if we don’t know how to help?
How can we mourn with the bereaved, when we are so frightened by their pain that we want to run in the opposite direction?

In this honest and insightful book, Barbera’s bereavement counseling and advice, help us navigate the difficult and emotional road to recovery after a crisis, and teaches us what to dowhen we are confronted with painful situations that simultaneously demand a response and evoke internal resistance. This book will be a valuable resource and comfort for many raised in the Christian Church, who feel the stigma surrounding conversations about mental and emotional health, and the manner in which God heals our wounds.

In a world where we are praised for being self-sufficient, we feel isolated and embarrassed when we find ourselves struggling. Unsettled by the surge of emotions we work so hard to hide, we develop pain resistance, and complicate the work of healing because it is a messy and uncomfortable process. Additionally, our lack of empathy makes it difficult for people to be share their experiences with us, for fear of being judged or labeled “too sensitive.” As a result,our relationships lack depth and we feel disconnected, especially during seasons of grief—and too often, our ‘help’ is poorly received among those that need it most.

Unlike the advice found in many self-help books, Barbera refuses to oversimplify the complex nature of grief. She does not insult the bereaved with insensitive platitudes or suggest pain management secrets that will quickly take the pain away in 5 easy steps. Instead, she prioritizes mental health awareness, shares wisdom and stories from her personal trials and asks questions about faith, God and our emotions, as we journey toward healing. Drawing on personal experience and learning by watching the people she loves walk through the most devastating moments of their lives, Barbera’s depth of understanding and ability to articulate the plight of the wounded heart are revealed on each page.

Let Me Be Weak: What People in Pain Wish They Could Tell You sheds light on the struggles people face during times of loss and demonstrates how to respond appropriately, by:

Honoring those courageous enough to admit their limitations and ask for what they need
Giving ourselves permission to feel our feelings, even when they make us uncomfortable
Increasing our capacity for empathy and self-compassion
Listening without judgment or a hidden agenda
Enduring silence and finding peace, when the answers don’t come
Having faith that the whole world won’t fall apart, even if someone you love does
Learning how to love yourself, even though you are imperfect

Follow the advice in this book and you will develop the courage to let down your guard and push past the discomfort, in order to become the kind of person others can trust with their pain and suffering.

We all need a friend whose words are honest and graceful, whose commitment to us is unwavering, even in our darkest hours. What’s stopping you from becoming that kind of friend?

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