In my younger years I used to give others very definite advice about what I thought they needed to hear, in other words, I knew better!
In my enthusiasm for each new learning which I felt to be the thing that would save us all and the world, I would spout endless information about my current favourite.
It wasn’t until recent years I came to recognise how arrogant I had been and I began to allow space for others to live their own choices.
Very recently I was given a dose of my own medicine from a friend of my college days who has always kept in contact but on a very superficial level, usually by email.
He is not the only one. How many times have you been asked “how are you?”only to be inundated with good advice? This time we were on the phone, and he flowed with good advice. There followed numerous online links and suggestions about health websites.
The offerings are well intentioned, and sometimes there may be little bits of advice, which could be valuable, but mainly they become a burden, and you get drawn deeper and deeper into a swamp of unnecessary information and false knowledge. I know from my own experience in the past I have felt responsible for the well-being of others, and taken on the role of saviour. Very rarely did I pause to consider what stage they had reached in their lives and that they may have a completely alternative viewpoint from me. No, I’d pile in there with beaming face and tail wagging. I was delighted to find someone I could share my ‘knowledge’ and experience with, and it boosted my sense of my own importance.
I recognised my old self in my friend’s eagerness to load me with so many references and so much information. I thought “I have to stop this now” and sat down to write. This is what I wrote:
“I appreciate you trying to help me by sharing what you have discovered and what you find successful for yourself, but after years and years of searching for cures for ailments, I have come to a place in myself where I realise I have been looking outside of myself for solutions rather than allowing myself to feel the energetic root cause within. I have kept on grabbing possible causes and cures. It has all got too complex trying this and that. My body gets confused, I haven’t allowed it the space to FEEL.
I come from a very different place these days in two ways. One, curing is not healing. Healing for me is accepting what the body is bringing out from inside me what needs to be healed and may mean a worsening of symptoms, or continuation of them until I learn some lessons about my choices.
The second is to work with just one nutritional practitioner, which is what I am doing, and have been doing for a while now. She knows the whole of me in all my aspects and we work well together. We all have histories and tendencies, and all respond differently to situations, foods, treatments and so on. I learn to feel what my body is showing me and she guides me.
Simplicity is the absolute necessity for my life now, it helps to bring a stillness and settlement within, and this is a place of awareness, feeling and healing.
From this place I can move outwards to embrace others and the world around me. Above all it is about learning to not abuse my body anymore and to love myself so I can love and not abuse others. This is my learning and way of life now”.
He received this so gracefully and said it gave him something to think about. I could feel something had shifted and deepened in our relationship. A feeling of wellbeing and ease now exists, we have become equal.
This shows the benefits of speaking up and expressing what you feel, even if it’s a little late, and is in itself a healing, as it came from a true connection in myself to enable a deeper connection between the two of us.
As I ponder on all this, I realise the whole incident shows me how much I have grown in my elder age, so many aspects I would never have been conscious of before. They all represent a deepening of love and letting go of control.
For instance, being able to listen without reaction, to respect my friend for who he is with no judgement, and love how he is, feeling his inner essence of love. To trust him, and not expect outcomes; to share with him from my inner being about who I am and where I am at. To value his wisdom.
This expands our awareness so that we can both know that together we are more.
Expressing my truth, being more transparent and inviting others to join me in a loving exchange heals more than anything else I know.
Joan C., UK
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