I casually gave him advice, the way we all do when the issue has nothing to do with us. The way that the truth just happens to be said while we're busy getting stuff out of the car or serving water.
The best advice will come from someone who is walking out of your kind of storm. It’s not someone in a storm. Not someone in another storm. The person who is walking out.This is who you ask for help.
The best advice has little thought behind it. Most people will brace themselves before they share it with you. It's the stuff that is simple to say, but hard to follow. It's the stuff you can quickly write off as dull. It's the stuff you don't want to hear. It's the stuff that stings for the first 10 seconds and then fizzles like foam into a beer.
Whether you get it over a last minute lunch, whispered into your ear at a club, or over a long talk as an engine burns into the morning, take the advice. Keep going.
Once you do, relax. It takes a while to get it. It takes a while to strengthen the muscles that go with the good stuff. Eventually, you will thank you. Eventually, the advice is no longer a belief you're chasing, but something you caught. It’s something that you now own.
Keep going. Soon enough, you’ll be teaching someone else how it’s done.
And when you're walking out of the storm, you'll know because you will recognize someone walking into it. You will see yourself across the room and know what they feel without feeling it anymore. You won't know when it happened, which of the things you did got you out, or even how you survived, but you'll know it's behind you.
And when this happens, pass it on. Say the simple stuff that needs to be said. Tell them how hard it was. Tell them about the sore muscles and the doubt. Tell them about the long nights. Tell them how it'll pass. Teach them how it's done.
Tell them to keep going.
We're all living off the same spark. Pass it on. Remember that when you head into your next storm.