Wanting to be helpful to someone who’s in need of support is honorable. But what it ISN’T, is making it about you. You are not the solution for their problems, nor is it your responsibility to solve anyone else’s problems.
One reason why we sometimes resist reaching out to someone in need of help–we fear that we won’t actually be able to help, or that we might get overwhelmed by the amount of help they need.
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I find it helpful to think of it like this:
Let’s imagine that your friend or loved one is thirsty. They’re beyond thirsty, they’re dehydrated. You can see that they need a liquid replenishment and you want to give it to them. But, your help is NOT the water. It’s the faucet that the water comes out of, or the glass that holds it.
Meaning, your role is to be a conduit for help, or a container for it, not the actual healing itself. You’re playing a vital role, but it’s not all on you.
One of the very first things I learned in my coaching training is that every person is creative, resourceful, and whole. Even when they’re struggling, they ultimately are the source of their own healing.
Of course we all need support–to help us access that wise, resilient part of ourselves
To remember it. To trust it. And that’s where you, the support person, comes in.
Instead of providing the solution or the advice that’s going to change everything for them, make it your goal to provide a safe space for your person who’s going through a tough patch to share their story and relieve themselves enough to be able to see their way through. Through listening and asking questions–like the ones I shared in Tuesday’s episodes–and just being present to them during this time – as I discussed in Monday’s episode about bearing witness–you can help them find their way to what ends up being a solution for them.
I hope this comes as a relief.
Daily Tiny Assignment
Your tiny assignment is to remind yourself, anytime you’re wondering if you should be helpful and reach out to someone you think might be going through it, is that you’re not the water, you’re the faucet. It helps you remember how important it can potentially be to reach out, but also remind you that it’s not a chance for your ego to shine, nor a case where you’re supposed to pick up the entire burden and carry it yourself.
That’s it from me this week.
I hope that the next time you realize that someone around you could use some support, you’re inspired to show up for them.