Thursday, December 20, 2012

Affirming Others

Today turned out to be a very interesting day.  It started out with Christmas shopping with my daughter.  We pretty much finished everything, so we headed home to do some wrapping when we started getting messages from someone that we care about who was in a very difficult situation.  We have been counseling with her for some time and trying to help her through this challenge in her life and today turned out to be a major pivotal moment for her.  We dropped everything we were doing to go and help her.  It was a difficult moment for her and thus for us too because we could feel her pain, but because we care about her, we were able to help her.

In the past I would have not only wanted to help, but I would also have found a co-dependent way to try and fix everything for her too.  It was wonderful to be a support, but not a fixer.  As I thought about our day it brought to mind saddness, anger and finally joy at being to help our friend.  I was trying to decide what I wanted to write about and, of course, our experience today was all I could think about and wasn't sure it was something I wanted to share, then I ran across this quote:

There are four moments in the process of affirmation.  To affirm another, first we must see goodness in ourselves because someone has affirmed us.  If we cannot see goodness in ourselves we will not see it in others. . . .  The second moment in affirming another is that we notice the unique goodness and loveableness of that person, and are quietly present to it. . . .  The third moment of affirmation is to be delighted by it, without wanting to grab or possess or change the other to gratify our own needs. . . .  In the fourth and final moment of affirmation we let our delight in another's goodness show, especially in non-verbal ways.  From the book Healing the Eight Stages of Life by Matthew Linn, Sheila Fabricant, and Dennis Linn

Being in such a better state, both mentally and physically, I was really able to help this friend.  I had affirmed myself enough that I could affirm her and that felt really good to be able to do for someone else.

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