“I find the best way to love someone is not to change them but instead, help them reveal the greatest version of themselves”
~Dr. Steve Maraboli
At a certain point in our spiritual journey we begin to unlock our own inner truth. We no longer are looking to outside sources such as religions, gurus, self-help books, etc. to tell us what to do and how to be, but instead we begin to realize that the answers were inside of us all along.
Not to say that we still don’t read books or open ourselves up to learning from others, but rather we have a more clear connection with our own intuition, which allows us to FEEL the “truth” rather than intellectualize it only.
When we were at the point that we needed outside sources to show us the way, they were coincidentally brought into our lives, either in the forms of other people, reading material, or any modality of spirituality that best fit our own personal needs.
Once, we have graduated from needing the constant affirmation and validation from these outside entities, we most likely will find that we have become the “teacher” that has manifested in someone else’s life in the form of a way-shower.
Then it becomes our turn to be the light on someone else’s path. If you have found yourself in this position, consider your responsibility very carefully. Life is a constant journey of learning and growing, and just like there will be countless teachers on our path of growth, we will also find ourselves in situations that we must be the teacher.
So what is the most effective way of being the light and giving someone advice? How do we go about showing someone the way to their own inner truth while still allowing them to learn their own lessons without our interference?
“A teacher is never a giver of truth; he is a guide, a pointer to the truth that each student must find for himself.”
The only person we will have the power to change is ourselves. No matter how much we want the best for someone, want them to be happy, want them to realize their inner light, or want them to be their best self, we cannot force them to do any of these things.
And just like we had to walk our own journey, complete with struggle, adversity, heartache, sadness, anger, etc.. we must realize that all these things are a part of the human experience, so they too will most likely have to go through all of them.
When we give advice to others we must always realize we are only speaking from our own inner truth, the truth as we know it given the situations and circumstances that we’ve experienced.
However, their life is not ours. Their truth will never be exactly the same as our truth because their mind is not our mind and their life has not been exactly as ours has. What we can do however is be in our own awareness and light so strongly that we become an inspiration for them to find their own awareness and light.
If a person comes to us for advice and questions we can’t come up with a million “You need to…” or “You should do this…”, directives, but instead, only point them in the direction of their own inner light and unconditional love. The only advice there ever is to really give is to accept the “what is” and love yourself anyway.
All arrows should point back to unconditional love of the self… no matter if the person is sad, depressed, frustrated, insecure, it doesn’t matter. As long as they have identified the feeling, felt it without resisting it, accepted themselves for having it and loved it, there can be nothing else to do. Without attaching ourselves to the outcome of whether they follow our advice or not, we actually free ourselves and them.
We don’t fear for them, because we trust that their journey is bringing them to the right people and situations that are perfect for them. And they don’t abandon their own inner self by blindly attaching to whatever we are saying as their ultimate truth, which may not always be what’s best for them.
However, if we find that we have been put in another person’s life to help them, guide them or show them something, we must trust that the Universe is speaking through us in the best and most effective way possible. Without doubting ourselves, we find that our inner light shines automatically and manifests in the best way possible for all parties involved, as long as we trust that it always will.
“As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence actually liberates others.”
We will sometimes be students and we will sometimes be teachers in life. Since we cannot ever know everything about everything, we will find that this role reversal happens over and over throughout our lives.
The most amazing thing about all of this is that as soon as we think we are giving someone else advice and showing them the way, as most teachers know, we realize that we were also giving ourselves the same advice.
Sometimes the Universe brings another person to us in the form of a student, but in actuality in our helping of them, we are actually helping ourselves with the same issue. By being in the form of another person, we were able to look at the situation in a different way, from a 3rd party perspective, that we weren’t able to do when dealing with ourselves and our own life.
As always, we must be the change we wish to see in the world. In doing this, we find that we always attract the right people into our lives, either to teach us something about ourselves or to be the teacher for them.
But if we really pay attention and become super aware of how things happen in this ironic Universe, we realize…. it is always both.