Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Helping Passage

Bacchus asked me the other day what book(s) had the greatest influence on me. I left out all the Alanon/Naranon literature, though I shouldn't have. Let's just say that there is a lot there.

Let me give you my favorite passage. It's available on-line, although I don't know what book it was orginally published in, and I don't know who wrote it. I know it only as "The Helping Passage." It is something that I keep coming back to and though I know it is not how a lot of foster parents approach parenting, it has become the way I do.

Your role as a helper is not to DO things for the person you are helping, but to BE things, not to try to train and change his actions, but to train and change your reactions. As you change your negative to positive-fear to faith; contempt for what he does to respect for the potential within him; rejection to release with love, not trying to make him fit a standard or image, or expecting him to measure up to or down from that standard, but giving him an opportunity to become himself, to develop the best within him, regardless of what that best may be; dominance to encouragement, panic to serenity; false hope, self-centered to real hope, God-centered; the rebellion of despair to the energy of personal revolution; driving to guidance; and self-justification to self-understanding-as you change is such ways as these, you change the world about you and all the people in your world for the better.

Self-pity blocks effective action. The more we indulge in it the more we feel that the answer to problems is a change in others or the world, not a change in us. Thus we become a hopeless case.

Exhaustion is the result when we use energy in mulling over the past with regret, or in trying to figure ways to escape a future that hasn't even come yet. Likewise, setting up an image of the future and anxiously hovering over it for fear that it will or won't come true uses all of our energy and leaves us unable to live today. Yet living this day is the only way to have a life.

Take no thought for the future actions of others. Neither expect them to be better or worse as time goes on, for in such expectations you are really trying to create. This is God's job, not yours; when man tries to create another life, he makes only monsters. Love alone can create. Love and let be.

Remember all people are always changing. When we judge them we judge on what we believe we know of them, failing to realize that there is much we do not know, and that they are constantly changing as they try for better or worse to cope with life. Give others credit even as all of us struggle; give them credit for attempts to progress, even if their changes are not apparent, and above all give them credit for having had many victories which are unknown. (We are all of the same cloth, though of a different cut.)

Remember you too, are always changing, and you can direct that change consciously if you so desire. Yourself, you CAN change. Others you can only love.

1 comment:

  1. Good Timing. Thanks for that!!


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