Just Trying to Help

I have two friends, who don’t know one another, who have both been having a really rough time lately. Part of the trouble they mention is that they are each lonely and seeking a companion (no, I don’t think they would make a good couple), and I understand that this time of year can be an ordeal when you hear all about how the holiday is for spending with your loved ones.

My heart is filled with compassion for their plight. I wish that I could help them in some truly meaningful way. I offer what comfort, advice and other help I can (being careful to make sure it’s what they want). Yet I know that ultimately they each need to use their own resources to lift themselves out of their unhappy situations.

On a smaller scale, I am frequently the peacemaker in my immediate family. My very nature leads me to seek harmony. So I am often the one to facilitate when there is conflict between family members, looking for a solution that will work for everyone. Sometimes it works, and other times they seem to want to experience their own drama until they are ready to release it. It occured to me today that the desire for harmony is only my own perspective, and might be better kept to myself. Perhaps I should only give my ideas when I’m asked.

This could be true with my two friends, as well. Maybe they need to learn the challenging lessons they’re experiencing, for reasons unknown to me (or even to them, in some cases). Unless they ask, maybe my help isn’t needed or desired.

Of course, sometimes it’s hard to ask for help even when you want it, so I think I’ll continue to make the offer, in a more general way: “is there anything I can do to help?” But my well-intentioned search for harmony could be derailing what would naturally happen in these varying situations. I want to be more respectful of each individual’s lessons. Though I’m not reprimanding myself. After all, I was just trying to help.


Just Trying to Help — 1 Comment

  1. I totally get this, and I’m struggling with the same kind of desire to help, but at the same time knowing that the help I am willing and able to offer may not be the help they want ;).

    It’s different in my case, because it’s family members who are struggling financially, but who are making some very (very!) poor choices, and who keep digging the hole, which they will never get out of if they don’t put away the shovel.

    I just feel like they aren’t ready to hear what needs to be said about how to get out of their situation, and in the meantime, I feel like I should be making it all better for them … but I can’t, and further, it’s not my job to make it better.

    Anyway, your post was timely and applicable, and I just wanted to comment that I know how frustrating it can feel :).

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