The strands of our lives are continually interwoven with those of our near and dear ones. Just as you may reach out to others in times of crisis, others may turn to you for support during their challenges. There will also be occasions when no help has been sought, but your emotional involvement is such that you feel compelled to help.
Most of us will try our utmost to respond appropriately to the other. However, we may struggle with doubts and questions ourselves. What is the right advise? Should you argue, persuade, support or oppose? Should you take the decisions instead?
From my many years of experience as a friend, healer and mentor, I have finally found the best course of action. It is almost always exactly what is required of you in that moment. Simple, effective and highly efficient, the optimal response can be summarized in two lines:
- Do what needs to be done.
- Say nothing.
It sounds deceptively simple and perhaps even obvious, in hindsight. But most of us tend not to put it into practice.
The person being challenged is often fully aware of his or her situation, the errors or omissions that have been made and the more suitable actions. Even when they are not conscious of all this, all they really require – is a safe, non-judgmental space of silent compassion – wherein they can examine the situation peacefully and arrive at their own conclusions.
Whether they say it or not, they don’t want you to provide the answers. That cannot be a long term solution. Change will only happen when the message comes from within.
If there is specific action to be taken, and you are requested to do so – go ahead and make the calls, or run the errand, or do what ever else needs to be done.
But don’t be tempted into listing out the ‘I told you so!’s or ‘You should have known better!’ or anything else for that matter. They also don’t need to hear about your stories, or worse stories than theirs.
Too often we jump into rescuer mode and become the experts on another’s life. The truth of the matter is that we can only be an expert on our own life, not another’s.
They don’t need to be rescued.
But they would benefit from knowing that you are there for them.
Thats all that anyone is looking for –
The reassurance that they are loved and accepted anyways.
Knowing this is strengthening. It is rejuvenating enough to give a fresh lease of life.
Your being there for them and believing in them, will allow them to discover their own self belief and self acceptance.
Without you saying a word.
( In gratitude for the many silent, rock solid companions on my life path. Their presence has kept me centered and resilient through my toughest times.)