One of the most sensitive balancing acts we experience in our spiritual growth process is that of helping others in a way that supports them without decreasing our own energy. There is so much suffering in the world, and most of us truly want to reach out and alleviate some of the pain–especially when we see it within our family members and friends. However, unless we help others in a mindful way, we are likely to deplete ourselves by draining our own personal energy, rather than being a conduit for channeling the limitless energy of spirit through us and to those whom we are helping.
Odd as it may seem, we can best help others by first helping ourselves. We do this by honoring our own needs for spiritual nourishment. If we try to help someone without being in a position of emotional strength ourselves, we can quickly become drawn into someone else’s drama. When this happens, not only can we not help anyone, we are actually adding to the collective pain of the world by taking on the negative issues of others.
When people share with me their pain and aggravation over complicated emotional issues in their lives, I frequently ask them, “What part of this belongs to you?” While this may seem like a surprising question, it is astonishing how often we waste our energy by getting emotionally entangled in other people’s emotional dramas, rather than being a support system. Of course, we are greatly impacted by the pain of people whom we care about, and we always have our own lessons to learn or we wouldn’t be involved at all. But we need to remember that we support others by reinforcing them with our strength–not by imposing our judgment on them or participating in their anger and pain.
Trying to save someone by getting involved in their emotional issues is like trying to rescue a friend who has slipped onto the edge of a cliff by going out onto the edge with them. When we do this, not only have we not helped our friend, we have actually added to the problem in that both of us are now in a precarious space and in need of assistance. Of course, we want to help others, but helping others does not mean self-sacrifice. There are other, much more effective ways by which you can support others without draining your own energy.
The following are some guidelines for remaining balanced while helping others:
1. Regenerate Yourself – It is crucial that you remain balanced and centered by accessing the flow of spiritual energy that is always available to you at all times. You can do this by consistently engaging in any practices that you find to be regenerating, such as: prayer, meditation, yoga, walking in nature, spending time with positive people, playing with children and your animal friends.
2. Ask Your Friend/Family Member If They Want Your Help – So many times we waste our time and energy trying to change someone’s situation because it is something WE want for them, not something they want for themselves. It is pretty tough to assist someone’s recovery if they are resisting us while we are doing it. You may find that the person to whom you are offering assistance is not ready to receive your help. The time may not be correct or perhaps the person is simply not willing to embrace the lesson(s) at hand. How and when we each learn our life lessons is a personal choice.
3. Honor The Lessons of Others – We each create our own reality. It is important to remember that, at some level, our friend/family member created the situation with which they are struggling and that they need to learn from the painful issues they are experiencing. We each have to discover our own personal lessons that come through in the form of life’s challenges. When we try to short-circuit this process for someone else, we are robbing them of an opportunity to learn something they need to know for their own spiritual growth.
4. Stay Out of the Drama – Learn to be an unconditional observer of someone else’s drama, rather than getting emotionally trapped by your own fears. Staying neutral and non-judgmental allows you to see the situation from a much higher perspective, which places you in a position of strength to offer guidance, compassion, and clear insights, and constructive choices.
5. Offer Tools That Empower Others – The most constructive way to help someone else is not to do for them, but to empower them to do for themselves. You can offer choices that will inspire your friend to help themselves, such as: doing research on doctors or healers who could be of support, suggesting specific books, being a non-judgmental listener (you don’t have to provide the answers), providing ongoing encouragement of their healing.
Most importantly, we need to remember that the most powerful support we can give to anyone is by the way we model our own choices and behaviors. The healing of others is not done by us but through us. When we tap into our universal spiritual source, we receive all the energy, love, guidance, and strength we need to help others. In fact, helping people in this way is actually energizing–not just for them, but for ourselves as well.
Do you have any suggestions or questions regarding how you have coped with helping others?
Love and Light,