Advice. Information. Guidance. Counsel. Assistance. Subjective.
When I’m working with clients I find it so easy to step back. To hold space and help open the door to a room that holds issues that need healing, but to also give them the respect and support to go into the room alone and clear out, manage and deal with whatever it is that needs doing. When people are close to you it becomes less clear. By their very nature and purpose, those dear to you become wound up in your own buttons and healing patterns. Sometimes you forget or completely miss where your own issues end, and your desires and hopes for the very best for those you care about – crossover.
I recently did this with someone very dear to me. They began expressing themselves in the same way and the same language that I had when I was their age, and it really triggered me and some things I wish I’d done differently in my past. This then caused me to assume that they were feeling the same feelings I was back then – and that they were likely to end up going through the same challenges I did because of it. I completely missed the most obvious fact – they are not me.
It’s about them, not me …or is it?
When old fears appear or your buttons are being pushed with someone you care about a lot, it’s easy to forget that you actually want what is best for them –not what you think is best for them or what you think would have been – or is, best for You.
Belatedly, I realised I need to heal and forgive those parts of me that were so easily stirred up. I realised that I was seeing things through a filter of judgement of myself that no longer needed to be there. And I needed to let go.
So how do you know when you’re genuinely giving someone good advice or when it’s actually bumping up against your own fears and unhealed issues?
- When you’re telling and not listening.
- When you realise you’re feeling unsafe in the conversation (your personal fears are springing up and overriding any balanced advice you may wish to share).
- When what you want for them is what you want/wanted for yourself.
- When you’re voicing an opinion so strongly that you don’t give other people space to exchange ideas.
- When you find yourself stuck in a corner fighting for something you don’t necessarily believe.
- When because of your fears, your advice becomes like demands that override someone else’s wishes.
- When you are telling stories to make them fearful and paint the world the way you see it.
- When you see them displaying similarities to you, or someone else whom you want them to avoid being ….but you forget that they are not you or that person which means they will make different choices with different outcomes.
- When you can’t honestly answer that you trust them to make good decisions because your own fears won’t let you give up control.
- When your heart hurts because you (albeit unintentionally) made your niece feel small and tried to beat her down with your own fears.
So what do you say instead of thrusting your opinions and ’I know better because you’re going to ruin your life’ thoughts upon them?
You need to acknowledge and get clear on some of the processes that are happening within you, and remind and tell yourself:
- It’s not my role to tell you what to do based on my fears and mistakes.
- It’s not my role to bully you with terrible stories of what could go wrong.
- It’s not my role to place stories in your head that will make your world smaller and more fearful….
- It is my role to help strip away those stories. To help open up as many possibilities as possible.
- It is my role to hold space for you to feel safe while you make those decisions and to never feel that my judgement or pleasing me is a factor.
- It is my role to ensure you know:
- I believe and trust in you. More than that – I trust you to trust yourself.
- It’s not from outside in but from inside out I believe you have the knowledge, strength, bravery and guidance to do the best for you.
- I believe that you deserve to be seen. To make your own decisions and what I want most for you is for your inner voice to shine and not be shouted down by fear, shame or the desire to make others happy.
- I believe that you are so capable. So clever. So amazing and that my job is to support and love you wherever you need it.
Because when you love, support and trust someone enough, then they don’t have to listen to you, society or anyone else but themselves.
And when you’re loved and supported and trusted to make good decisions by yourself and those around you, then fear falls away and you can hear your inner voice clearly… and our true inner guidance will never steer us wrong.
If we aim to send messages like this, and act in a way that is true to those messages, then we open up the path for those we care about to find their way.
I apologised to my niece, and I dedicate this column to her and all my loved ones who I have tried to love by telling my own fear stories, instead of supporting them in fighting their fears and finding their path. For them and for you dear reader…
I love you. I support and trust whatever decision you think is right for you. My only vested interest in the outcomes of your decisions is your happiness and even that is 100% yours to determine. I believe in your inner voice and your strength. Whatever you do. Wherever, however and if ever you need me. I’m here.
Sending love always