I found myself engaging in advice giving this afternoon. It’s not an activity I frequently indulge in, being hesitant to consider most of us adequately prepared or in a position to provide advice while struggling with unresolved matters of our own. I’m not suggesting we ignore the pleas for guidance or direction, particularly from those most in need of information that may alter a lifestyle precariously balanced on the thin line seperating success or failure. Nevertheless, prior to assuming the role as advisor, we should humble ourselves with a dose of reality gleaned from an honest cursory review of our own successes and short-comings.
My efforts this afternoon at providing enlightenment were nothing approaching life altering. This made it even more surprising and flattering to hear that within a few hours of it being offered, my advice was heeded and being shared with others. I had merely extended the idea – or to some the philosophy – that by caring for oneself we are better able to care for those we love, and capable of offering greater assistance. Simple, right?
What I did not realize, until a subsequent conversation, was that what I had offered as common knowledge had been received as a new idea by someone struggling with self forgiveness. The severity of the affects may differ, but a common thread is the inability – quite simply and frankly – to allow ourselves the opportunity to do what is best for us without the burden of guilt. And it’s a terrible burden to carry, consuming the energy otherwise used for attaining sought after successes which provide the sustenance for moving forward. The long-term effects are tragic, victimizing soles and minimizing the lives of everyone within its path.
If my unanticipated and impromptu suggestion this afternoon in some way provides relief to my audience I may never know. But I think in some measure it already has. And if not, I at least hope it will resonate long enough to instill the wisdom I intended it to provide. Reflecting back, I am reminded that my reservations for offering advice are, perhaps, unwarranted and short-sighted. If there is insight and good information to share, then I suppose we can do a disservice by withholding it. If our intentions are good, and we know our insight to be sound, speak up. You never know who may be listening, and waiting to receive a useful perspective.
And indulge now and then. It feels good, and those around you will benefit from your improved disposition. Happiness and contentment have a pervasive and sometimes mysterious influence over us, where we find ourselves centered and lucid in thought, and most willing to help those looking to us for guidance.
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