Helping Someone Help Themself

Have you ever tried to help someone who doesn’t seem able or willing to help themselves? Frustrating, isn’t it. You might see clearly what changes your friend could make to alleviate or completely remove their stress and emotional pain. But what they seem to want is for the world to change around them, to enable them to remain as they are, and still have their situation improve.

You might even try to point out all the positive things your friend has in their life – a home, family, or a job for example. What you hear back is, “The roof leaks, my family is in constant conflict and the job is running me into the ground”.

The world can change around all those things. The roof can be mended. The family can undergo counselling. Your friend can find a new job. Does that make your friend feel better, or do they find new problems on which to focus. “The house needs painting. I don’t like my son’s girlfriend. I miss the coffee shop around the corner from my old job.”

This could go on for many iterations. Many people have a great capacity for focusing on the negative.  There is always something that could be better, something more to be done, something else that needs to change before they can be happy.

The issue isn’t that the world is not perfect. If that was the key to happiness, no one would ever be happy. Ever. Our feelings come from inside, they are not thrust on us from external sources. Our thoughts and perceptions about the world are built on those feelings.  When we focus on positive thoughts and feelings, we are open to receiving positive feedback from the world. The reverse is also true. What is inside us manifests around us to reinforce what we already believe.

Which is how you came to be sitting at your friends table, drinking coffee, trying to explain to them what they see is not what you see. And why they are not listening.  The world can change all it wants, but your friend won’t notice any of it unless they can make a fundamental shift in how they feel and think , in their way of being in the world.

And it’s not your fault that you can’t make your friend see that.

You can’t find someone else’s inner peace for them.  You can help them, but that person has to be willing to help themself. You can work with them, but you can’t do their work for them. You can be there for support, but you can’t make them accept that they are creating their own reality. Only they can do that.  What you can do is be an example of what change looks like, you can send light their way in the hope that they can eventually receive it, and you can be a constant in their lives who refuses to give up.

Just for today I will be kind to all living things

See a list of Reiki precepts.

Published by David Cady

Reiki Master, Rahanni practitioner, musician, writer, free thinker, family man, not necessarily in that order.

3 thoughts on “Helping Someone Help Themself

  1. I agree completely. In my experience negativity comes from a depressed feeling and distracting your friend can help. Sometimes talking doesn’t help much…

    1. I think it’s more cyclical. Negativity leads to depression leads to more negativity. It isn’t always easy to change that, but it’s well worth the effort, even if you have to “fake it” at the start.

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