From what I have observed in life, it’s the people who are (in that moment) most unhappy, that give the most advice to others….I see this pattern in myself also. Unhappy, frustrated people are chock-full of opinions and ideas about how others should live, change, and grow. I know a woman who buys boxes of self-help books and gives them to anyone and everyone in her life that she thinks could benefit from a little change of attitude, a new perspective, a more positive mind.
I know that she means well. She sees unhappiness, struggle, and frustration all around and so much wants to help. The thing that she doesn’t know is that all of these feelings are within her. She’s seeing/feeling on the outside, what is happening within her very own being.
She doesn’t yet know that when we change, our world (and everyone in it) changes too, and instead of frantically giving away books and advice in an attempt to make others be different than they are, she could drop down to the level of her own heart, make those inner changes, and become that change….then the ones that she so earnestly pursues, in an attempt to help them, would make their way to her door, unbidden.
It might be an interesting exercise this weekend to see how many times we want to give advice to someone (even in our minds) and notice how we are feeling in that moment, listen to what we are about to say (or suggest), and see if it applies to us.
“A low self-love in the parent desires that his child should repeat his character and fortune…I suffer whenever I see that common sight of a parent or senior imposing his opinions, and way of thinking and being, on a young soul to which they are totally unfit. Cannot we let people be themselves, and enjoy life in their own way? You are trying to make another you. One’s enough.” Ralph Waldo Emerson