Where do you set the line between being supportive and being too involved in someone else’s journey? Where you insert the limits to how much you should help someone and how much of the process should be about them figuring things out for themselves?
The process of helping or guiding can be addictive in and of itself and if your best interest is in making sure the other person finds their way it’s very important to know when to step back for that process to happen effectively. It’s very easy to lose sight of the end goal and start making the story about the helper instead of the helped. It’s very easy to start judging the entire process on your ability to help instead of the on how much more was the true main character able to help himself.
There’s also the issue of focusing on another’s journey to avoid dealing with your own that we always need to be alert to and juggling these aspects makes being an aid to someone’s journey a somewhat complicated process.
In the midst of it all though, there’s also the all revealing mirroring that happens when, by looking at someone else’s growth process we’re able to clarify some of our own issues and better address them. Sometimes advice that rings true to another might really have dawned on you because it was something you yourself needed to hear out loud. The danger in this is that you might be tempted into entering this process with someone else with the core intent of helping yourself and that makes it difficult to effectively help and guide others.
The truth of the matter is that you can only be so objective in these situations. It’s ultimately up to you to constantly examine the process and take a critical eye to your own involvement in said process and reassess periodically the purity of your intentions and make sure that you maintain integrity with whatever those intentions were. It’s always best to take on the role of a supporter after you are absolutely clear of what that role entails without ignoring the possibility that you might get ‘lost in the sauce’ along the way. It’s also important to understand the value of reassessment and periodical check-ins with yourself in regards to your intentions, your methods and the outcomes that those provide to make sure they are still being effective and to immediately adjust them when you feel you’re going off the proverbial track.
It’s a funny thing when you realize you can’t separate your role as commander and chief of your own process of self-discovery from the altruistic duty of helping someone else along the way. Both tasks are so interconnected that the line between them often gets blurred which also leads me to conclude that they often overlap, making the need for focus and attention and critical discernment all the more important.