Take my advice, I don’t use it

by tamarjacobson

Quote of the day:

As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being. Carl Jung, from over at Andy‘s place.

I pretty much divide people up into those who give advice and others who listen and support. I realize that all those advice-givers are doing what they do because either they are uncomfortable with another person’s pain and think they need to fix it, or, perhaps, they just get some kind of kick out of hearing themselves talk. However, when I am in emotional pain, the last thing I want to hear is how someone else knows how to fix it. Because, obviously, if I could solve it I would! And most often the advice offered has nothing to do with who I am or what my fears are.

On the other hand, when someone just listens to me with authentic caring and support, and validates how I am feeling, I have the space to explore my problem, and who I am in how to deal with it, and very often am able to find the way out on my own later.

Advice givers always say: "I know how you feel."

"No, you don’t. How can you? You are not me, with my complexity, life history, fears, ways of looking at things. You cannot possibly know how I feel, judge myself, or experience the world around me. Ever. You can only know how you feel and what works for you."

So, just listen to me as I tell my story and I will listen to you as you tell me yours. And then, perhaps, we will be able to shed some warm light on each other as we struggle to find our way through this complex journey we’re on. A community of supporters, without judgment, just being there for one another, kindling light through the darkness of mere being.