May 22, 2008

What does it mean when we say we help others? I have heard and have chosen to ignore the theory that posits that help hurts whenever I sense that not “helping” might cost me. It might cost me in terms of hurting a relationship that, actually, isn’t much of a relationship if I’m buying it with “help”. I have used this “help” to avoid future guilt; the kind of guilt I might have to endure if the helpee is somehow injured because I didn’t “help”.

I’ve been told that the mystics have always warned against depriving people of their lessons and I’ve been pretty good with that provided I am distant enough from the ones who are in the midst of a life lesson.

I paid for the housing of someone I love for many years because I was afraid that she might become homeless. It’s now these years later and I’m no longer paying the rent and she is being evicted. Who was I helping? It looks to me that I was helping myself not to feel the pain of allowing someone so dear to me to be in danger. Is it possible that I was preventing this dear one from finding her own way? It is possible. Now I am not “helping” myself. I am feeling the fear and wishing her well and hoping she thrives.

I am not writing this as a kind of mea culpa but to help myself to understand that help can hurt. I don’t absolutely know that my “help” hurt her but I do know that my motives were rooted in my fear of not being able to bear her demise, a demise that I have no control over. What was I thinking? How could I believe that I could protect her by paying her rent? The deep truth is that I didn’t believe it. I was simply protecting myself and I no longer need the protection.

To me this sounds selfish and even mean but I know it isn’t. It’s just my truth and it feels so odd because it opposes all I’ve been taught.

Posted May 22, 2008

1 Comment

I have read several of your entries with interest. I am at a point where I too am questioning my existence. Have I done well, done Right, done good or bad? Is this where I want to be? And WTF …what the fxxk?

While reading your musings I must wonder where your head is at? What is it that is important to you and is anything important for longer than a second or two? You seem to looking at an ages old problem and trying to apply a two minute solution. Your writing on Helping of May 22, 2008 is an example. Why are you helping and what are you doing to help. If you had indeed paid the rent (I am sure you have) why did you do that and did you really think that was the help that was needed? Is the act of throwing money at an issue really helping? Or is it an easy thing for you to do so that you can claim you have done something?

Oftentimes we elect to do nothing because we don’t know what to do. Oftentimes we do something so we may tell others that we tried when we really didn’t, these both sound like you. Certainly the relationship between you and this person has a huge impact on the decisions you have made, I make no judgment there just to acknowledge that dealing with family, or close friends is difficult and different from ordinary charitable efforts. Perhaps leadership and friendship was needed more than money. A friendly word, a little mentoring, giving something of yourself rather than something that is meaningless, yes in the scope of it all money is meaningless! Oh, I want more as well, but it is not the important thing, people are important, not money. Not the money we keep or the money we give. We need to give of ourselves.

Your writings, while I have not read them all do show, at least to me that you do not give of yourself. You seem to be wanting to get a return on an investment that you haven’t made. When we deal with people we make an emotional “investment” in them and they in us. To the extent that we help, nurture, develop them we will receive a commensurate dividend. If we help, or if we treat them with respect, we will receive a positive dividend. If we do not then we will receive a negative return, or a loss on or minimal investment. In your case you obviously had some emotional connection to this woman (girl) but you made no real investment and while she was evicted, you will say she learned her lesson, you did not help her as you stated you wanted to do.

I will read your postings but I suspect that you are missing the boat on relationships and being close to people. You need to look at your own self, the real you. Do you know who or what that is? If you see him I am willing to bet you will not like him. Maybe that is your problem.

Be well my friend good luck in your search your YOUR truth!

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