It looks like a friend is trapped. Habits, addictions, and fears have combined for years to keep him in a place that is on the cusp of success and ruin. As I watch, helping where there are opportunities, it is difficult. In moments of awareness, there are telltale actions reflecting a strong desire to be in a different place. It is as if he has embraced an old prayer; “Don’t let the swamp be my grave, the black hole swallow me, its jaws clenched around me.” (Psalm 69.15)
There are moments when I think I am making a difference. In the greater story, I am not sure my actions are leading to anything different. While achieving changes in behavior (outcomes) are not the only reason to take action, it is good to take a fresh look at the situation.
Do I understand why I think I should help? Am I willing to share unconditionally? If not, what are my conditions? Answering these will put outcomes in their rightful place.
When I think of my response, am I willing to look at how I engage, how I react differently? Is there a link between how I do things and why?
As I evaluate the specifics, what I did, what I expected, and what will change, is there an option of approaching the opportunity differently. Will the reason change the process and the specifics?
In the quietness of a tropical morning, I find myself reflecting on the endless questions and realize there are two truths that I need to embrace. First, the questions I asked of another and myself applies to those that would share wisdom with me. My ability to deal with the junk in my life is far from perfect. I have enough self-awareness to be eternally grateful to Life and Divinity for never giving up on me.
Second, unconditional advice is a powerful form love. It is also a priceless gift that touches the heart, changing everything regardless of what follows. To every giver, I hope s/he keeps giving unconditional gifts. Each action is Divine.