I have the privilege of working with people who struggle, yet I too have been struggling with something recently, and I would really love to hear your feedback, my dear readers.
Many of my clients– and at times, myself– are inconsistent, which can make the journey quite difficult. Additionally, I routinely see people who are in extreme pain making choices that will only make their lives more painful. I used to be an advice giver– yet today, I tell people that I believe God created everyone with all of the tools needed to heal themselves, and that my job is to hold space so each person can quiet their mind and find their own way; in the end, it is actually quite haughty of me to think that I know what is best for you.
However, there are times when I do, and I feel powerless to stop the behavior, whether it is someone who continues to harm themselves, decides to be homeless, elects not to take medication, or chooses to continue abusing substances.
My question is: How do I hold space for these circumstances without condoning the choices?
The first thing I do is make sure that I remain empathetic and kind, yet be honest and transparent about the choices, and my belief that they are harmful. Then, I try to emulate what I believe God would do and does; God waits for us until the bitter end, hoping that we will wake up, and make the decisions and take the actions that will better our lives.
I too, let each person– as well as myself– know that I am here, that I am not going anywhere, and when they are ready, I will continue to be there. Unconditional love does not have to mean unconditional support. Sometimes, I must lovingly remove myself from someone’s life, yet I must also make sure that they know I am not closing the door permanently.
This week, let’s let the people closest to us know that there is nothing they can do to take away our love, even if there is much that they can do to take away our support– and for that matter, our presence.
Let’s live by the motto of the great sage Hillel: “If I am not for myself, then who is for me, and if I am only for myself, then who am I?”
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
I want to remind all of you that you can hear more on my podcast, Showing Up. We have lots of amazing shows with interesting guests on a variety of personal development topics. It would be great if you could also rate 5 stars, review and subscribe to the show. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/showing-up-with-asher-gottesman/id1489856285y