September 25, 2012
There is a fine line between loving others and being codependent, especially with our family and close friends. The hardest thing for us to do is to be with people that are hurting, physically and or emotionally. Quite often when the people we love are in pain we want to avoid them and that just adds to the pain. Or if they come to us with their pain we want to fix it and make it go away. In a way their pain becomes our God. Their life and pain becomes the focus of our attention to the detriment of our own lives. Sometimes they don’t have to be in pain at all but we make it our job to be whatever they need us to be and do.
There was a time in my life when I did exactly that. There was a time when I knew more about what you needed and wanted than I knew about myself. I knew how you liked your coffee, with or without cream or sugar. If you asked me, for instance, what movie or restaurant I wanted to go to my answer was always, “Where do you want to go!” For me, at that time, if you were happy, I’d be happy.
As codependents we want to fix the problem. We want to help the people we love make the pain go away. We are uncomfortable just being with them and with their pain. At one time in my life, hardest thing for me to do was to just listen.
I’ve learned that listening is sacred. Listening allows us to be in the presence and in that place to be guided as to what to say, if anything. More often than not, listening leads us to encourage them by saying, “This is hard!” “I hear you,” “I am willing to be here and hold your hand for as long as you need me to.” Today I am not to quick to answer their questions. To the best of my ability, I listen trusting that if I listen carefully, I’ll know what God wants them to hear.
That’s what God does for us. God is in our pain and we are never alone. This truth is reinforced when we are willing instruments of love in the lives of others. We are to be evidence that God is in their pain. I can’t say that I’ve always been able to do this, in fact most of my life I did the opposite. I’m a very slow learner. I used to think I had to make life easier for everyone around me. Over the years slowly I’m learning not to do for others what they are capable of doing for themselves.
When we try to help others by doing for them what they need to do for themselves, we are telling them they are not capable. Eventually they become resentful and difficult to live with.
Letting people live their lives, make their mistakes, or experience success in working through whatever it is they are going through, is the greatest gift we can give to anyone. The kindest, most powerful thing you can say to anyone is, “You will figure this out,” In your heart of hearts you know what to do and in this process God’s love will be revealed to you and you will heal.” Pain in life usually increases our faith. Usually when people are in trouble is when they turn to God for help. Pain is an opportunity to experience the Grace of God big time, but you have to look for it.
Today this is my understanding of loving someone unconditionally. I have a long way to go in this process of waking up. I still make suggestions and maybe give too much advise but when I remember to just listen, which happens more often today, I feel God’s presence and love in the midst of what is going on and I call forth quietly in my heart of heart the love of God to shine through me.
Try listening more often to each other it’s the best way to love. Spend time listening in the silence of your heart of hearts and trust that what you hear is God speaking to you and guiding you and your words. Listening is truly sacred!!!
Remember to Feed Your Soul
With Love & Blessings Galore!!!