We all live in circles of family relationships, teams of worker colleagues, housing complexes and neighborhoods, and we have all faced times when we've been asked for help by someone in our circle. Or maybe they haven't asked, but we've noticed their suffering and we've reached out in a gesture of support.
But how do you know what to DO? Do you just listen deeply to them? Do you take brownies to their house? How do you really help?
As I've faced these questions what I've noticed is that there is only one thing that is a consistent necessity and supports me knowing what to do -- and that is my own good frame of mind. When we are lost in the issues of others, sucked into their dramas, or drained by their apparent needs, we are standing in a very difficult place within ourselves. And when things are not going well inside of us, whatever we try to do will often end up being off the mark.
The heart of all human relationships is nurtured, supported and cared for by each of us keeping an eye on, and really understanding the nature of our own inner state.
When we are in inner calm, we get great impulses and ideas about how to help. We know immediately whether to just listen, or whether to jump into action with care baskets and charity balls. When we are in inner turmoil, we can't resolve anything well. We can be supremely unhelpful, despite our willingness. In fact, it may be best to wait and not help at all, if we know that our own inner resources are depleted.
If this touches you, perhaps you'll enjoy this week's show, "The Single Biggest Factor in Human Performance."