I am a big believer that we cannot change other people, neither should we want to, maybe merely influence, but this happens often without our conscious effort anyway. But when it comes to personal matters, with people we think we are looking out for or wish to guide or think we are invested in, we all have blind spots. Without giving too much away, as it is someone else’s story, I was telling them to be more involved in someone’s life who clearly craves for them to step up to an important role in their lives. As in the past, they responded with discomfort, withdrawal, shame, and for the first time even with a verbal counter-attack, which made me stop and think about it (thankfully!). As someone who believes that all we truly can do is work on ourselves (really!) and look at ourselves, as we have so much to account for, I wasn’t doing that, and I wasn’t encouraging the others involved to do this very same thing. Timing is important and choices people make are their prerogative. I realized, that no matter what the severity of the issue, the rules of the game cannot be tampered with. I felt disappointed in myself, as I clearly had judged them. Instead of lecturing others on their behavior, I must primarily explore my own intentions of wishing to do so, and also, can encourage the person who feels abandoned or left out, to find their own empowerment and to realize the same – we cannot change others, neither are we responsible for their doings. Instead, we can try and shift our focus and meaning we draw from whatever happens for us. In this, we can also, and regularly should, re-evaluate the roles and power we give to people and to the outside world. We are beings capable of such incredible feelings, and we can allow ourselves to feel it all, but what can benefit us is observing our emotionality and the mental state where we live in so that we can have a more objective and balanced view on people and events in our own lives. A way to achieve this is always healthy boundaries and inner work.
Generally, when it comes to fixing something or someone, we must refrain from giving advice. Without giving advice! Often so hard to do! We are much better advised to figure out our own demons and intentions, seeking to know what drives us, and what and who are influencing our own choices.
For me, I’ll always be mindful that it is not my right to try fix people’s problems or resolve their suffering, as I never know what learning or healing must take place throughout that process. I do though, wish to empower myself and others, and am curious about their individual processes. For that, I must regularly check in with myself, as it all truly begins with me.