Many of us who are on a spiritual path consider ourselves teachers, coaches, mentors or some other kind of helpers. When we begin to deliberately feel better, when we begin to recognize our own immense power, it’s only natural to want to share that joy with others. And if you’ve ever had the experience of being perfectly aligned with another person’s question for a moment, so that the perfect answer they’re looking for (or what they most need to hear) is elicited through you, you know how incredible that feels. Successfully helping others, seeing their aha moments and being a part of them, witnessing that light in their eyes is so immensely satisfying, it only makes sense that we’d want to get more of it.
But there’s a risk here: When we witness the growth moment of another, it’s easy to misinterpret it and think that it was us, the “teacher” who caused that moment of insight. But we did no such thing. All we did was get out of the way enough to create a channel that allowed the other person access to the energy they were seeking. That’s no small thing, but there’s a huge difference between this and actually causing their growth. Let me explain.
The idea that we can cause someone’s growth is appealing – we love the idea of swooping in and “saving” others from their pain. And for those of us who can read energy, the issue at hand, whatever the person is struggling with, is often clear as day – we can see exactly what limiting belief this person needs to let go of in order to feel better. And so, we try to lead them down that road. Our intentions are good – we just want to help, but the problem is that you can’t just reach into someone else’s energy field and yank them up, especially if they’re not ready for it. And if you try, the reaction you’ll get won’t be a good one. People get defensive, frustrated and even angry. We’ve all experienced this at one time or another – we desperately want to help someone, but instead of getting to see that sparkly aha moment we’re after, they go and blow a fuse. What the hell?
When we try to push our help onto others (spiritually or otherwise), a few things happen:
- It’s condescending. We assume that we know what’s best for the other person. We’re essentially saying that we know what’s best for them – better than they do. We look at them as if they’re broken, as if there’s something wrong with them and we think we can fix it. This is a horrible energy to project unto someone. No one’s going to react well to that sentiment, no matter how good the intentions are. Plus, we can’t really know for sure that we actually know what the perfect solution is. The Universe has infinite possibilities to find ways to bring us together with our manifestations. Do we really think we know them all and have picked the best one?
- It’s disrespectful and judgmental. We’re looking at the other person and where they are emotionally, and we’re thinking “poor you!”, as if where they are is somehow “bad”. But the truth is that we can’t ever judge where someone is. There aren’t levels. It’s not like if we’ve cleared certain beliefs we get to graduate to the next class. A nearly enlightened person can be struggling with a belief that a completely miserable person cleared long ago. We all carry a myriad of frequencies within us, or to put it another way: we all have our baggage. We have to honor everyone where they are – it’s the exact perfect place for them to be at that time.
- It’s not inspired. There’s a huge difference in being guided to help someone and doing it because we feel that we should or have to. When our intuition guides us, there’s no obligation. There’s no pressure. It’s easy and the energy flows freely. That’s when we get to witness the other person have their breakthroughs. This is what it feels like when we’re a vibrational match to the other person. When we try to help out of a desire to “fix things”, it feels frustrating and hard. And we don’t get the result we wanted. There’s no vibrational match to the solution.
- They can’t hear us. When someone is vibrating at the frequency of a problem, and we come along with the frequency of what might be the solution, we might as well be speaking Chinese to a guy from Arkansas. They simply cannot hear what it is we’re saying and no amount of badgering them will solve that. Once we’ve had an insight, it seems so clear. How could we not have known that all along? But before we had that insight, before we were ready to see the solution, all we could see was the problem. It’s a process that each person has to go through in their own time. There’s nothing we can do to speed it up.
- We can actually do damage. If we try to push someone on an issue that they’re not ready to move on, we could actually make them associate the horrible feelings they’re experiencing due to our prodding, with that issue. This will make them even more reluctant to look at it than they were before, and could actually set them back. Our attempts to “help” will have brought them to a worse feeling place.
I’m usually on the coaching end of things, and I’ve had my fair share of botched attempts and bad reactions. It was through trial and error that I figured out what it feels like to be inspired to help someone, and when it’s better to just walk away. But I had an incredibly valuable experience a few weeks ago – a friend of mine tried to help me without provocation or having been asked. Just like everyone else, I have my baggage, and I’m in the process of clearing an energy blockage that’s been with me for several years. My friend has a strong desire to help me, and began to push and prod me to make progress on this issue. I am making progress, but apparently he felt I could be going a bit faster. Now, I’ve become very good at monitoring my emotions, so I was able to head it off before I had an extreme, outward reaction. But I can tell you, I haven’t been that uncomfortable in years and it took me several minutes to shift (it usually happens in seconds). I came very close to just walking out of the room, which is huge for me. I’m glad I was able to see that my friend was coming from a good place and he finally heard me when I told him that while I appreciated his attempt, it really wasn’t the time. What I really wanted to say right before I shifted, though, was “Lay the #%&¡@ off me!” The intensity of my reaction really kind of shocked me and I spent the next couple of days deconstructing my emotions and getting into a good feeling place on the subject again.
It was a really educational experience for me – to be on the other end of a well meaning person trying to push their solution onto you. Yeesh. If that doesn’t stop me from ever trying to do that to anyone else, I don’t know what will.
So, what actually happens when we successfully help someone? I believe that what we’re doing is accessing the higher frequency of the solution, then getting out of the way (we have to remove ourselves from the outcome and just trust in the process), and then allowing the other person to access that frequency through us. We are basically a conduit. We can all do it, often without even knowing it. When the cashier at the supermarket makes that remark that makes your whole day, just when you needed to hear it most, she was a conduit for the energy you wanted to access, but for some reason couldn’t access yourself. Remember, we’re all in this together. The trick is to do it deliberately. That doesn’t mean conjuring up the right energy and forcing it upon them, but rather knowing when we’re a match to someone’s problem and when to walk away. We have to trust that the other person will find their way at just the perfect time. It’s not our job to save them and they’ll be just fine going down whatever road they’re on If we get to witness the breakthrough, we can celebrate it and appreciate the fact that we were there to share in the moment. And if we want more moments like this, we can create them – but we cannot force a specific person to be a part of one.
So the next time you find yourself about to help someone, take a moment and evaluate if you’re truly inspired, or if you think this person is someone broken and needs your help. How does it feel? Then, only proceed if it feels easy, gentle, and if you can see the other person as whole. Otherwise, don’t be afraid to walk away. You’ll be doing yourself and the other person a favor.
As always, I’d love it if you shared your own experiences in the comments!