A recurring question keeps crossing my conversations. “But, what do I do?”
What answer should I give to someone that has yet to go through the deep valleys? How do I tell them what Life will give them through experience? What if they have the experience but not the answer?
I look back at my youth amazed. I was trusted before I had earned the trust. I was empowered when there were few reasons to give the power to me. I was released to run before I had shown I could walk. Yet, as free and open as everything was, I had people that cared enough to be engaged in my life. Engaged is a polite description for individuals that I gave permission to ask me tough, hard to answer questions. Individuals I opened myself up to for accountability. Individuals where honest, candid, and soul-searching dialogue was natural – no matter how uncomfortable it made me.
I was fortunate. I knew these individuals as friends, advisors, and mentors.
What should anyone do?
Take care of their souls. First, foremost and always – take care of yourself. Guard your heart. Examine yourself and learn. Be true to yourself.
Work at seeing life through the eyes of the other. The closer an individual is to you, the harder it is to do. I find that this is that key to making a positive difference – at least efficiently making a difference!
Be willing to help others without imposing. It is easy to know the right answer for someone else. Being willing to walk beside them, in good times as well as bad, is much more difficult. Being present, without imposing is impossible without Divine support.
Above all, give and let it go. Our primary task remains. In the context of a faith system, a writer said it well; “Dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1.20)