Many of us who are on a spiritual path consider ourselves teachers, coaches, mentors or some other kind of helpers. When we begin to deliberately feel better, when we begin to recognize our own immense power, it’s only natural to want to share that joy with others. And if you’ve ever had the experience of being perfectly aligned with another person’s question for a moment, so that the perfect answer they’re looking for (or what they most need to hear) is elicited through you, you know how incredible that feels. Successfully helping others, seeing their aha moments and being a part of them, witnessing that light in their eyes is so immensely satisfying, it only makes sense that we’d want to get more of it.
But there’s a risk here: When we witness the growth moment of another, it’s easy to misinterpret it and think that it was us, the “teacher” who caused that moment of insight. But we did no such thing. All we did was get out of the way enough to create a channel that allowed the other person access to the energy they were seeking. That’s no small thing, but there’s a huge difference between this and actually causing their growth. Let me explain.
The idea that we can cause someone’s growth is appealing – we love the idea of swooping in and “saving” others from their pain. And for those of us who can read energy, the issue at hand, whatever the person is struggling with, is often clear as day – we can see exactly what limiting belief this person needs to let go of in order to feel better. And so, we try to lead them down that road. Our intentions are good – we just want to help, but the problem is that you can’t just reach into someone else’s energy field and yank them up, especially if they’re not ready for it. And if you try, the reaction you’ll get won’t be a good one. People get defensive, frustrated and even angry. We’ve all experienced this at one time or another – we desperately want to help someone, but instead of getting to see that sparkly aha moment we’re after, they go and blow a fuse. What the hell?
When we try to push our help onto others (spiritually or otherwise), a few things happen:
- It’s condescending. We assume that we know what’s best for the other person. We’re essentially saying that we know what’s best for them – better than they do. We look at them as if they’re broken, as if there’s something wrong with them and we think we can fix it. This is a horrible energy to project unto someone. No one’s going to react well to that sentiment, no matter how good the intentions are. Plus, we can’t really know for sure that we actually know what the perfect solution is. The Universe has infinite possibilities to find ways to bring us together with our manifestations. Do we really think we know them all and have picked the best one?
- It’s disrespectful and judgmental. We’re looking at the other person and where they are emotionally, and we’re thinking “poor you!”, as if where they are is somehow “bad”. But the truth is that we can’t ever judge where someone is. There aren’t levels. It’s not like if we’ve cleared certain beliefs we get to graduate to the next class. A nearly enlightened person can be struggling with a belief that a completely miserable person cleared long ago. We all carry a myriad of frequencies within us, or to put it another way: we all have our baggage. We have to honor everyone where they are – it’s the exact perfect place for them to be at that time.
- It’s not inspired. There’s a huge difference in being guided to help someone and doing it because we feel that we should or have to. When our intuition guides us, there’s no obligation. There’s no pressure. It’s easy and the energy flows freely. That’s when we get to witness the other person have their breakthroughs. This is what it feels like when we’re a vibrational match to the other person. When we try to help out of a desire to “fix things”, it feels frustrating and hard. And we don’t get the result we wanted. There’s no vibrational match to the solution.
- They can’t hear us. When someone is vibrating at the frequency of a problem, and we come along with the frequency of what might be the solution, we might as well be speaking Chinese to a guy from Arkansas. They simply cannot hear what it is we’re saying and no amount of badgering them will solve that. Once we’ve had an insight, it seems so clear. How could we not have known that all along? But before we had that insight, before we were ready to see the solution, all we could see was the problem. It’s a process that each person has to go through in their own time. There’s nothing we can do to speed it up.
- We can actually do damage. If we try to push someone on an issue that they’re not ready to move on, we could actually make them associate the horrible feelings they’re experiencing due to our prodding, with that issue. This will make them even more reluctant to look at it than they were before, and could actually set them back. Our attempts to “help” will have brought them to a worse feeling place.
I’m usually on the coaching end of things, and I’ve had my fair share of botched attempts and bad reactions. It was through trial and error that I figured out what it feels like to be inspired to help someone, and when it’s better to just walk away. But I had an incredibly valuable experience a few weeks ago – a friend of mine tried to help me without provocation or having been asked. Just like everyone else, I have my baggage, and I’m in the process of clearing an energy blockage that’s been with me for several years. My friend has a strong desire to help me, and began to push and prod me to make progress on this issue. I am making progress, but apparently he felt I could be going a bit faster. Now, I’ve become very good at monitoring my emotions, so I was able to head it off before I had an extreme, outward reaction. But I can tell you, I haven’t been that uncomfortable in years and it took me several minutes to shift (it usually happens in seconds). I came very close to just walking out of the room, which is huge for me. I’m glad I was able to see that my friend was coming from a good place and he finally heard me when I told him that while I appreciated his attempt, it really wasn’t the time. What I really wanted to say right before I shifted, though, was “Lay the #%&¡@ off me!” The intensity of my reaction really kind of shocked me and I spent the next couple of days deconstructing my emotions and getting into a good feeling place on the subject again.
It was a really educational experience for me – to be on the other end of a well meaning person trying to push their solution onto you. Yeesh. If that doesn’t stop me from ever trying to do that to anyone else, I don’t know what will.
So, what actually happens when we successfully help someone? I believe that what we’re doing is accessing the higher frequency of the solution, then getting out of the way (we have to remove ourselves from the outcome and just trust in the process), and then allowing the other person to access that frequency through us. We are basically a conduit. We can all do it, often without even knowing it. When the cashier at the supermarket makes that remark that makes your whole day, just when you needed to hear it most, she was a conduit for the energy you wanted to access, but for some reason couldn’t access yourself. Remember, we’re all in this together. The trick is to do it deliberately. That doesn’t mean conjuring up the right energy and forcing it upon them, but rather knowing when we’re a match to someone’s problem and when to walk away. We have to trust that the other person will find their way at just the perfect time. It’s not our job to save them and they’ll be just fine going down whatever road they’re on If we get to witness the breakthrough, we can celebrate it and appreciate the fact that we were there to share in the moment. And if we want more moments like this, we can create them – but we cannot force a specific person to be a part of one.
So the next time you find yourself about to help someone, take a moment and evaluate if you’re truly inspired, or if you think this person is someone broken and needs your help. How does it feel? Then, only proceed if it feels easy, gentle, and if you can see the other person as whole. Otherwise, don’t be afraid to walk away. You’ll be doing yourself and the other person a favor.
As always, I’d love it if you shared your own experiences in the comments!
Thank you for this post…. I am struggling with the other side of this issue. There is a person in my life who is wanting to help me and I am struggling with accepting the help. I can’t put my finger on it exactly — I keep thinking I am a failure for not being able to accept the help, but based on your post, I think it may be because the help is really about the other person’s need… What I am rejecting is the feeling of control that is coming from the other person, perhaps? I wish I knew how to solve this problem… It would be nice to accept the help, but it feels like she is taking a bit of my soul every time I accept it….
I read this blog post at just the right time and you were an inadvertent conduit to help me shift a pattern that is getting in my way. I just started a health coaching practice where I help people heal their digestive issues. I healed myself from IBS and I can show others how to cure a condition that doctors can’t help with and call incurable. My website is called Do It Yourself Health, yet I feel like I am telling people what they should do and guess what I come across more often than not…resistance! Big time. You can only help people if there is an opening for them to really, really want it. You can’t force it upon them, it always backfires. I know from personal experience because I am a rebel by nature and only want to do things if it is my true heart’s desire. So hard to sit back and watch people suffer but your blog post was a comfort in this process. I need to trust that those who need my transformative energy will find it through me. Thanks again for this insight.
I’m so glad this post helped. Once you’ve shifted this perspective, you’ll notice that you’ll attract a lot more people that are ready for you and a lot less who aren’t. You won’t need the resistant ones anymore to show you yours. 🙂
Oh snap! 😀 I’m VERY glad I manifested this article today! I have almost always manifested boyfriends that I felt were fixer-uppers so that I could feel needed and get that euphoric feeling of “helping”.
Then, after I had totally depleted myself from “helping”, I would break up with them because I would get totally fed up and judgy that they never came around to what I saw as their potential, which I and only I could guide them to, of course :D.
It’s actually happening as we speak. I am with someone that in my eyes was not only broken, but drowning, and wearing a straight-jacket with a weight tied to his ankles.It was like heaven to the old me.
But very recently, after depleting myself to the point where I am emotionally just skin and bones,(NONE of my “helping”, really helped at all, BTW) I realized that I cannot pull him up by lecturing with my LOA, Spiritual-Universe, Spirit-Guided views of the world, i.e.(“Don’t keep saying how poor you are, you’re focusing too much on a negative vibration!), or (Enter inspirational Louise Hay quote here). He cannot hear me, and I cannot have a relationship like that anymore. I’m working hard to align with the vibration of something greater next time.
Anywho, thanks for letting me rant and practically write my autobiography for you today. 😀 This article was the brick to the head that I needed to just. stop. helping. those that I can’t help.
Thank you so much for describing your process here. This is something that so many people, especially those who feel a calling to help others, struggle with. It takes some time to realize that you can’t fix anyone and that trying to do so doesn’t help them. In fact, it just ends up making you miserable. And the truth is, no one needs fixing. They are simply on their journey, and you are judging their journey from your perspective, which is never the same as their perspective.
Now that you’re aware of your pattern, it won’t take that much to change it. You’ll also be given ample opportunity to do so, since really releasing this will move you further towards who you really are. 🙂
Thank you for this very informative and affirming blog. I have been standing on my soap-box for quite a few months now attempting to get others (all of whom are involved in life coaching) to comprehend this very subject. We can open doors for people to change, we can supply them with the tools to change, yet we cannot change them. Until the person is ready and willing to accept responsibility to change, they simply will not change. It is egotistical of us to assume that we are the change others make in their lives. No, we are merely there in a supportive role. Thank you once again. In love and light. Amanda.
Thanks for the feedback! I’m so glad you found validation in this post. 🙂 I’ve been on that same soap box (wish it was a little more crowded…)
I certainly agree and feel everything you are saying on this subject matter. Being a person who feels energy and loves to teach…this was actually one of the lessons I had to learn. I couldn’t understand it at the time (before the lesson) because I meant very well by it. But everyone is where they need to be for the moment and we are not the ones to save someone. Really great article and it does touch home…
Thanks so much for the comment Kenya. It can be quite painful when people don’t want your help. It can feel like rejection and can even make us question our new found knowledge. But once we realize that we’re not searching for the one truth that will fit everyone (a one size fits all approach) but just our individual, custom made, designer truth, we can stop taking it personally.
When I first started on my personal development journey and gotten the results that I wanted I was more than excited to help others. Like you said in your post, people didn’t want my help.
I’ve learned through time to help when asked or when the energy feels right in the situation. Sometimes we help people without intentionally setting out to do so.
You make a great point – we do often help people without intending it or even realizing it, just as others inadvertently help us. Thanks for stopping by!
Yet another brilliant article Melody…I patiently await a book from you! This is so true about our need to be a savior in the lives of others. You should see me when I lose a few pounds and then become an expert on the matter. lol I try to “help” them do what I did…yeah right. The problem is I haven’t overcome my own issues but I think I know just enough to share with someone who wants to do the same. I have learned to keep my BIG mouth shut unless someone asks me for my opinion. Because in the end “we all have our own s#*@t to work through and who am I to judge who needs help or especially who needs MY help!
Love your work…..
Thanks so much for your kind words. I’m always glad to hear from you. The weight loss book is in the works, don’t you worry. ?
You actually do know enough to share, as long as you know more than the other person. Everybody can be a teacher to someone out there. But as you said, the key is doing it only when asked (one can be asked energetically). The rejection we feel when we’ve tried to help those who don’t want it can leave us thinking that we have nothing to offer. But that’s not true. We just tried to offer steak to a vegetarian, that’s all.
Oh God, the number of times I’ve pissed off my friends by trying to ‘help’ them. You’re so right. They don’t appreciate it. And then, when I’m not trying it all, all of a sudden they’re like “that’s exactly what I needed to hear!” I’m still working on knowing when to shut up.
I like this post!
Hi Karen. Thanks for the comment. When you’re not trying, that’s you, getting out of the way. Don’t worry, just keep paying attention to how you feel when it does work and you’ll get better and better at it.
Yeah, I tried that on someone not too long ago. He stormed out of the room, deleted me from his Facebook profile and we’re not speaking anymore. (and we were pretty close) I was like “what the hell just happened?” lol
However, I also think people end up realizing that they (quote-unquote) “over-reacted”, and that what you say ends up helping them one way or another, once the dust settles. I witnessed this before. For example, when your friend pissed you off, maybe it encouraged you to take a long hard look at why you got pissed off and eventually it helped you get better, even if at the time you just wanted to kick his ass. If that conversation with him happened, if you “attracted” it, it’s because it was a match to you and your energy, even if it felt really uncomfortable at the time, don’t you think?
I would say try not to force your help on people, but if the convo happens, it happens, somehow it’s a match and it’s what was needed, even if we don’t like the initial result. The person it just happened to me with has pretty deep issues, so it will take him more than a few minutes to realize, but I think he will eventually. I might not be a part of his life when that happens. Or I might, who knows. But I don’t feel “sorry”, even if I’ll definitely be more careful next time a situation like that arises.
Thanks for much for stopping by again. You’re absolutely right. Sometimes people get angry at first and then have a breakthrough anyway. I’ve had that happen on more than one occasion. But I think that as long as we follow our intuition, it’ll tell us when to fight it out and when to just let it be. We absolutely attract every conversation we have, the key is to figure out if it’s a match to helping the other person or a match to something else within us (need to be right, etc.)
It sounds like you’re handling the situation with your friend brilliantly. The fact that you’re so clear and zen about it, makes it quite possible that your “breakup” was part of his growth experience, whether he comes back or not.