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Personal Evolution

[Photo: Butterfly Dreams by iam4ranny]

I have previously reflected on how life's journey presents each of us with innumerable lessons which, if heeded, provide us with opportunities to strengthen our heart, intellect and soul. Often times we must revisit the important lessons many times throughout our lives before we fully embrace their messages. We may experience many stumbling blocks related to these lessons and the people that care about us may try to help us realize the error of our ways. However, no matter the advice or pressure we receive from others, it is only in our own time that we will accept the knowledge and wisdom within our grasp.

What happens when the situation is reversed and we must witness others falter during their own personal journey? No matter how stubborn or blind-sighted we are in traveling our own paths to enlightenment, it is often difficult to witness loved ones struggle along their paths, especially if we feel that we can recognize the error of their ways. The process can be extremely painful for us as observers as the urge is often great to make the other's journey easy and safe by sharing our own wisdom and providing a soft landing place. Many times we don't realize that our interference can actually retard the progress of others, as they must experience life through their own unique circumstances and experiences, not our own.

The Daily Om wrote an excellent reflection on this topic, saying in part,
Yet all human beings have the right to carve their own paths without being unduly influenced by outside interference. To deny them that right is to deny them enlightenment, as true insight cannot be conveyed in lectures. Rather, each individual must earn independence and illumination by making decisions and reflecting upon the consequences of each choice. In allowing others to walk their paths freely, you honor their right to express their humanity in whatever way they see fit. Though you may not agree with or identify with their choices, understand that each person must learn in their own way and at their own pace.
Being a control-freak myself, I often struggle with this issue by wanting to force my own insights and experiences on those I care about. I have to work hard to not make the personal issues of those I love into personal issues of my own -- in particular, not alienating myself from those I love when I feel that they make decisions that are harmful despite my previous "warnings." Letting go and allowing others to grow and develop without interference, no matter how many stumbling blocks may avail, is a difficult task. Reserving judgments and criticism and instead offering unwavering support and advice when sought is perhaps even more difficult, but is necessary to preserve individuality, independence and diversity.

How do you practice being a silent observer and supporter for those in your life? What forms of support and love do you find helpful when experiencing struggles and upsets in life?

The hardest thing to watch is when one of your children is suffering due to a poor judgement...
you can tell them how certain decisions that you made when you were their age turned into disaters...
you can even explain why and how you would do it differently ...but people, even your kids, somehow still manage to create their own fiascos.

I think that you can do quite a bit to limit the severity of their mishaps but part of being human is learning to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and keep going.
You can't be with them 24/7 so you give them your honest appraisals of life and hope that some of it sticks...
I have been very fortunate...
I didn't hide anything or sugarcoat my observations or advice..
I think that you have to be honest with family and friends because you aren't doing them any favours by glossing over important information...
it is hard to let go...
especially with your 'babies.'
Don't sweat the small stuff.

I think you said it best that sometimes you just have to "let go"... and then do your best to support people in the decisions they made for themselves.

I always say you can't change anyone's mind, all you can do is provide a good example and hope for the best.

Giving advice and thoughts from your own experience is fine, but ultimately people have to come to their own decisions no matter how "right" you are or how profound or prophetic your wisdom.

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