Tenets of Companioning

©Dr. Alan Wolfelt, Center for Loss and Life Transition[1] (Note: These tenets are from a grief counselor. They invite soulful presence.)

 

Companioning is about honoring the spirit;
it is not about focusing on the intellect.

Companioning is about curiosity;
it is not about expertise.

Companioning is about learning from others;
it is not about teaching them.

Companioning is about walking alongside;
it is not about leading or being led.

Companioning is about being still;
it is not about frantic movement forward.

Companioning is about discovering the gifts of sacred silence;
it is not about filling every painful moment with talk.

Companioning is about listening with the heart;
it is not about analyzing with the head.

Companioning is about bearing witness to the struggles of others;
it is not about judging or directing those struggles.

Companioning is about being present to another person’s pain;
it is not about taking away or relieving the pain.

Companioning is about respecting disorder and confusion;
it is not about imposing order and logic.

Companioning is about going to the wilderness of the soul with another human being;
it is not about thinking you are responsible for finding the way out.

[1] Adapted for liturgical reading. See Dr. Wolfelt’s book, The Handbook for Companioning the Mourner (Companion Press, 2009)