With the world spinning so fast, it is really easy to get caught up in the twhirl isn’t it? We all are busy, we all have lots on our plate, but many of us take on more without even realizing that we are doing it.
You know who you are….the person who volunteers for that “one time” event and gets sucked into heading a committee; the lady who offers to help out once in a while with the neighbors kids and finds herself with a house full on a regular basis. Maybe it isn’t so extreme for you, perhaps its just that you have become the person people call to “unload” their stress onto….whatever the situation over time, as things pile up your burden will become overwhelming and sooner than you expect it will feel like you are carrying the world and all of it’s problems squarely on your shoulders.
So what can you do? You can learn to listen. You can learn to be a funnel, and let things flow through you instead of pile up on you. Listening is a skill that can be learned. It can be the best tool in your bag, because when you learn to listen you realize you can suggest, you can offer but you can’t FIX! And so often that’s what we feel that we “should” do in order to help someone. But that is so far from the truth. When we feel that we have to FIX things for others, an amazing thing happens, we end up carrying their burdens ourselves. We end up stopping that person from learning what they need to so they can move forward, and we stop ourselves from doing the same. No one wins, no one feels good, and no one gets what they want or need.
When you become a good listener, you can truly identify the needs of others, and in doing so actually support them in a way that is empowering. Fixing someone’s life isn’t the answer…it’s actually the catalyst to enabling, which is NEVER a good thing. But when you listen with an open and caring heart you will help that person find the answers they are looking for. You will support them in learning the lessons that show up in their lives, and you help them grow.
So the next time someone asks you to “help”, take the time to listen to what they really need, and support them in finding their own solutions. You may be surprised to find that your shoulders will feel just a little bit lighter!
~Judy Davis, the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and lifestyle blogger as well as a military life and teen suicide prevention expert. Co-founder of DASIUM, Judy’s books Right Side Up and Warning Signs: Is Your Teen at Riskare go to resources for families and her websites are filled with tips, inspiration and resources for those looking for direction. Connect with Judy at TheDirectionDiva.com