Help or disservice -How to be the support for others?
You have certainly been faced at some point in your life with observing someone close to you, going through some challenging phase in life. You have felt they need support but you asked yourself what is the best way to support them. It could have been everyday situation at work or school. However, it could be aslo even bigger life challenge that you wouldn’t even know how to deal with. The best support I believe is what many people call holding the space. It means that we are literally holding space for the person to experience what is needed as less painful and gently as possible and to show with our presence that we are there and that it is okay for them to feel the way they feel.
Supporting and victimization aren’t the same!
What I think is of primary importance is making a difference between victimizing and and supporting and holding space to others. Holding space for others doesn’t mean that we tolerate their bad behavior towards us, or that in the relationship with the other person, no matter what state they are in, we are taking on the role of a victim. By taking on a role of a victim, we are showing that we are not respecting ourselves and that we don’t have our own integrity. In the state of not enough integrity helping others (even if it’s professionally) is not recommended for various reasons. First, if we haven’t been working on our own programs, patterns and emotional charges we will always attract clients that will reflect that. So, instead of helping them, they will be unconsciously “helping” us to integrate our own shadow.
Second, in the state of disintegration, from an energetical aspect our field is too open and unstable and in that state we “suck in” energy of others which we perceive as ours, which gets us further away from our own integration. Then we give ourselves to others for wrong reasons, in wrong ways and from impure intentions – to feel worthy and important. For us to truly help someone we need to have absolutely pure intentions and be completely unconditional. To help someone truly we need a lot of honesty with ourselves and others and even more wisdom. And, last but not least, we have to be aware of our influence and the effect we have on the ones we help. The people that need our help are most often the ones that have the most open, weak and disintegrated field and if we didn’t do the needed work on ourselves, we could project on to them our programs, conditionality and unresolved emotional energy.
It is then that instead of helping them we are indirectly doing a disservice to them, no matter how pure our intention is or how rich our professional career is.
When people aren’t ready to face themselves
Imagine that you are being supportive of someone who is in a challenging situation in which you can clearly see the cause. They are desperate, don’t know what to do, so they ask you for your opinion. It is all clear to you, but it is also clear that the person is not ready to face himself . You simply know the time for that isn’t right and since you can clearly see the cause and effect you can tell that the person is going to repeat the same pattern many times before he decides to face it. It is hard for you to refrain from giving advice, ideas, suggestions. This can be a perfect chance for you to do your own inner work, and to see what moves you to give advice and suggestions. Very often it is enough for us just to be there for that person. To love and accept them, to be fully present, to observe them and to see in them their Source energy and their full potential to overcome the situation they are in.
Enable them to feel safe enough so that they could “fall”
How many times have we fallen? And how many times after that did we get up? If we have learned something after each fall, if we have become more skillful, capable, wiser, reasonable or if we have changed anything in life, the challenges have served their purpose. Sometimes we just have to let others fall. If we intervene, we could take away from them the precious experience and the means to learn. Then our role is to be with them, to put pillows on the ground, so that the fall can pass as gentle and painless as possible. To reach out a hand for them to get up, to encourage them to continue and to face them with the lessons a certain situation carries (if they are willing to face them). So, our role is not to solve the problems of others, to take on responsibility for their choices, to pity them, criticize, correct them, change or improve them…
Holding a space for someone with our silent presence is a state of being, not an action
Being supportive of someone without any needed action, is for me (and I’m guessing for most who are naturally inclined to solving problems) a special challenge. I needed significant amount of work to stop giving ready solutions, suggestions, advices and ideas to people who never directly asked for my opinion. Even if they did, our opinion is based on our experience and it is questionable if it is adequate for someone else. I think that giving an opinion or advice should be taken with great caution. With giving ready solutions (especially with solving the situations of others) we are taking away the power from the person that is dealing with it and we are indirectly sending a message that they are not capable enough to face it themselves. Taking on responsibility for the experiences of others, we are taking away the energy of the person that is going through it. In that way, we are disintegrating the other person but also disintegrating ourselves and bringing into our energy field a lot of mental, emotional and spiritual energy that is not authentically ours.
Apart from that, solving the problems of others on our own initiative and giving our advice, opinions and suggestions shows only arrogance, because we are sending a message to that person that we know more and better than them. Which only shows some hidden aspects of ourselves that are masked with our need to help others. We are then helping others because of ourselves not because of them, which is not supposed to be our goal.
For us to be a good support system for others we need to have pure intentions, a lot of love, patience, the skill of listening, absolute presence, great wisdom and self-awareness. Does it seem too much? Maybe, but it is all a process that brings unbelievable self-development and the deepest fulfillment, because through being there for others we are fulfilling our deepest purpose. Of course, under the condition that we have taken care of ourselves as well. 😊