Helping Others

 

I had an incident just happen with my garbage cans of all things that is a good illustration of someone wanting to be a good person, friend, neighbor, brother, sister, mom or dad and help you out with the best of intentions in their hearts. In our To Do’s of moving out of our house to begin our adventure in India, I arranged with the garbage company to pick up our trash on the scheduled pickup day that happened to be 3 days after we physically left the country. I also made arrangements with them to pick-up their cans so they wouldn’t charge me for them. To accomplish this I arranged with my good friend Robert to put the cans out the night before pickup and assumed all would unfold as planned.

When Robert went back to check the mail and the house he found the cans nicely placed back behind my fence where I usually kept them. So I had to make a call to the garbage company from India to explain that they would be put out again for the next pickup day and I had to kindly ask Robert to put them out again for me the following week with notes taped on them that indicated to leave them for pickup. Unfortunately, I ended up getting billed for the cans because we missed the initial pickup day. This created for me the hassle of calling the accounting department of the garbage company to get the $205.08 reversed, because in the end, they did get their cans. I am sure my neighbor had the best intentions, but this is a perfect example of helping someone because “You” made a decision that they needed your help. When in fact, they never asked “You” for your help.

I am not sure if it is a native part of our makeup as humans or if it is a learned trait, but it just seems we’re inclined to help out another because “We” just know what’s best for them. I know for me, being brought up with a Christian background that it was always stressed that we need to think about others needs before our own; even if those needs are just perceived needs created by us.

So, it came as quite a surprise to me when I went down the Metaphysical path with Maitreya and I learned that helping others wasn’t always the right thing to do. That sounded a bit strange to me on the surface. I guess we were always told that we would be judged by St. Peter at the Pearly Gates of Heaven based on how good a person we were which started with how you helped out your friends and even strangers.

Unfortunately, to help someone, means that you probably made an emotional decision that “You Knew” something that they didn’t, or that “You Knew” more about something than they do and “You” just wanted to help them avoid the pain, the shame or the blame of “Their” choice or decision. It all sounds and feels good on an emotional level, “You” are doing what is right in your mind and what “You” perceive as required, but are “You” really helping them? Maybe there are lessons the person needs to learn from “Their” decision or just maybe, “You”, with your well-intentioned deed don’t have full knowledge of the situation you are inserting yourself into.

I know for me this has been a real dilemma, I often help Margaret out by doing things for her that may have seemed to be out of love from me, but in actuality, I think I was subconsciously trying to make her more dependent on me. In the short term, this may not seem so bad, but in the long term when you make someone dependent on you; “You” are inserting yourself into their freedom to make their own choices and the learning that arises from those choices. Now you can say if they didn’t want your help, they should tell you, but you’re then asking them to take an action because of the action “You” started. Maybe they are afraid to say “No” to you or you are in a position of authority that inhibits them from saying “No” to you. I know I made a lot of decisions for my children that looking back on my actions, I would definitely do differently with my new understanding.

This is not an easy lesson or concept in life to grasp. We so want to get involved in everyone else’s lives. Why? It’s really simple, when I’m worrying about “You”, I’m not looking at my own life and the lessons I’ve chosen to learn from. It is especially hard because our Self/Ego tells us we know what’s best for that child, spouse, neighbor, friend or family member. As I said, this is not an easy lesson. It’s as if we’re programmed to want to help as we see things unfold in front of us, but in actuality it is the Self-aspect of ourselves trying to hold us and the person we’re try to help back from our chosen life lessons through our perceived good intentions.

Try and be aware of helping people, because the hard reality is, if you don’t owe them Karma, you are probably suppose to be letting them learn on their own. I remember picking up one of my son’s fellow soccer players each evening to take them to soccer practice. The boy would come bursting out of his house into the sunshine with his ball and shoes complete with a big smile on his face. Me being the parent, I was aware of the weather forecast and knew when the sun went down, it was going to get chilly. I would always prompt him to go back and get his jacket so he wouldn’t catch a chill, which in my thinking would prevent him from catching a cold. In my mind, I was just trying to be a good parent or the adult in charge; at least that was the reasoning of the Self-aspect within me. Interestingly, one night I mentioned the boy’s behavior to his father and was actually very surprised with his answer. He said, “If he forgets his jacket and gets cold enough, then maybe next time he would remember his jacket”. At the time I considered it a little irresponsible on behalf of his father, but as I came into understanding the writings of Maitreya, I came to the easy realization that I was the one that was mistaken.

I know for me, I error in the wrong direction far to often and it is something I really need to work on. How about you? Especially when it comes to your children or family? Do you “Really” know what’s best for them? I bet the Universe would beg to differ with you.

Have a good month!