Sunday, September 29, 2013

Helping others

I have a friend who is constantly trying to help people, help them develop and grow. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It's coming from a good impulse, and his good heart. The problem is, he's bad at it. He doesn't have a good education or good knowledge of psychology or self-improvement, and he doesn't succeed in helping people grow. Worse, he seems to be in complete denial about this, and insists that he's helped people.

I know the game he's playing, because there was a time in my life when I played it. I also tried to be an amateur therapist for people. It's arrogant and presumptuous to think we know how to guide others, and when I realized that, I stopped. Now I keep my ideas to myself. The only one person I'm truly responsible for is myself, and I work to improve myself.

Often, we allow our good, positive impulses to obscure our shadow. (Shadow is a term refering to the unconscious, hidden aspects of our psyche.) The impulse to help others is healthy, but many use it to avoid doing their own self-work. I can admit I was doing that, and my friend is, now.

Everyone has the path they are on. Not everyone is meant to grow in ways or at a rate that we would like. No one can choose to make another grow.

Where is the balance between working on ourselves and helping others? Is there a way to help without violating a person's sovereignty? Do you have a person who you think is not fulfilling their potential? Do you try to help them? Let me know, I'm genuinely curious.


Dave Roel.
There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.
- Aldous Huxley

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