It is said, “The good Lord helps those who help themselves.”
The key here is “help themselves.” The Lord (or whatever name you give to the transcendent aspect of the Divine that is said to be a source of guidance and support) cannot help those who refuse to take responsibility for their own lives, their own patterns of dysfunctional behavior, their own woundedness and their own fears.
The same can be said for us. When we reach out as a source of loving support for others, we can only help those who are willing to help themselves. We cannot help those who are unable or unwilling to identify their own patterns of dysfunctional or compulsive behaviors (including behaviors of gluttony, addiction, victimhood, martyrdom, rage, power and control, envy or jealousy, sloth or pride); and we cannot help those who are unwilling to do the work of identifying the unhealed woundedness or fears that are in fact the cause of their dysfunctional behaviors and the unfortunate life situations their behaviors get them into.
What we can do is provide a listening ear and a compassionate heart. We can be a presence of unconditional abiding love. We can educate, inform and direct them toward resources that might help them (including ourselves if we have the proper resources). The rest is up to them.
As it is also said, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.”
Whether or not those we hope to help refuse to drink from the well of support we lead them to is completely out of our control. Even if we could make them “drink” that doesn’t mean they will actually do the hard and often painful work of taking responsibility for what ails them. This is where the subtle and necessary practice of detachment comes in. When we have offered all we are able in the form of guidance and support and when those we hope to help refuse to help themselves, there is nothing left for us to do but walk away. For the sake of our own wellbeing, we cannot allow ourselves to take another person’s decisions personally; neither can we lose a minute of sleep over it. As one teacher says, “their decisions are none of my business.” Detachment is the ability to be a loving source of support while also having no attachment to what the other person decides to do with our offer of support. If they receive the support and take appropriate action, then they are well on their way to healing. If they refuse the support and continue in their dysfunction, it is now on them.
As the Lord helps those who help themselves, it is also true for us. We can only help those who are willing to help themselves.
The Authentic Freedom Mastery Course empowers us with the ability to identify our gifts, along with our compulsive and dysfunctional patters of behavior and then provides tools for helping us to heal these patterns ourselves. Learn more by clicking the image below: