Never try to help someone unless they are ready and willing to be helped. One thing we all eventually learn, the hard way.
Until help is asked for, until there is a readiness to listen and inquire and challenge old patterns, your attempt to help will be felt as manipulation, control and resistance - your issue, your need, your war, not theirs. Defences will go up, positions will become hardened, and you will end up feeling frustrated or superior or powerless or broken, and the mirrored roles of 'victim' and 'saviour' will make you feel more disconnected from each other than ever.
How to truly help? Meet them where they are right now. Let go of YOUR dream of their healing or recovery or enlightenment. Slow down. Validate their present experience. Don't try to impose your own agenda or assume what is 'best' for them. Perhaps you don't know what is 'best'. Perhaps they are more hardy, intelligent, resourceful, and full of potential, than you ever thought possible.
Perhaps what is 'best' for them today is not to want - or need - your help! Perhaps they actually need to suffer or struggle or seek more. Perhaps they are aligning and healing in their own unique way. Perhaps what this moment requires is trust, and deep listening, and profound respect for where they are in their journey.
Perhaps you are only trying to help yourself, anyway.
This is humbling stuff.
Perhaps real change comes not from trying to impose change on others, but by aligning with where they are right now, unlocking all the creative intelligence of the moment, honouring their unique path, bowing to the mysterious process of healing.
When you try to change someone, you are communicating to them that they are not okay as they are, that you dislike their present experience and want it to be different. You may even be communicating to them that you don't love or trust or respect them.
When you stop trying to change them, and meet them as they are today (even if that brings frustration, fear and guilt), and you align with life as it presents itself (even if that means meeting your own resistance to life), great and unexpected change is possible, for now you are a true friend and ally of the universe.
Stop trying to change others, and they will change - or not - in their own sweet way, in their own sweet time, held in your love, helped by your trust.
For the mind is not in charge of change.
Perhaps you help the most
when you get out of help’s way.
~ Jeff Foster
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