If a man going down into a river, swollen and swiftly flowing, is carried away by the current--how can he help others across?
As I go along, week by week, I open my journal to find a good quote to learn from. Sometimes I search it out, sometimes I just happen to open the book to the most perfectly appropriate page for what is happening in my life. Mostly I've picked the lesson that I can relate to, leaving the more difficult to decipher quotes for another time. As I get closer to the end of this series and this journey, I'm finding those left-behind quotes more often, as they are becoming all I have left to choose from. As they get more difficult, I must really take the time to concentrate on understanding its meaning as it pertains to my life, and realize that, yes, it takes some time and effort, but truly learning to better myself is so worth it.
My main desire in life is to help others by sharing my experiences and show them that, even in times of what you feel is hopelessness, you still have the ability to rise above it and overcome desperation. I have fallen time and time again, but the miracle of resilience and faith picked me up and brushed me off. I really do believe that if I can do it, you can, too.
That being said, what I interpret this week to be telling us is--how can we expect to help anyone, even if your intentions are pure and steadfast, if you are liable to get carried away by your emotions and /or lack of self-control in any given situation? Swept away by the current of your emotions or untamed, chaotic thinking, how can you be focused enought to lend help to another? If you jump in when you are not ready, you might just get carried away as well; and then you will both be swiftly moving down that dangerous path that could very well lead to destruction in which you both could be lost.
I am not implying that you stop trying to help others in need or to even stop giving advice that could be helpful. We all learn from one another and the many situations that we must endure. But to be able to offer service to anyone else, we first must have strong footing on the foundation of ourselves. We must work towards the strength and confidence we need to gain for ourselves in order not to get swept away by the current when we jump in to help someone else.
If we always sacrifice ourselves and what we need in order to become strong, emotionally sound individuals, always jumping in to help others and foregoing our own needs, what will we have to anchor us to the shore? Without knowing ourselves, we may not be able to remain neutral and may get in too deep to the turmoil that those we long to help are swimming through.
Like I said, you don't have to stop helping, all together. But make sure you know where you stand and that you have on your own life preserver before jumping in. It's ok to take time for yourself, to strengthen your own mental well being. It's admirable to always jump in to help, but it's also admirable to help yourself, too; it reflects strength. Even I live by the code "how may I serve?". But, I am learning that I must care for myself first or I won't be strong enough to be there should someone need me. I will always be there to serve, but I am learning to throw the rope in first, and try and show them how to help themselves.
Thank you for reading,