What do you do when someone comes seeking your advice but they have no intention of taking it? I reflected over the fact of an interaction recently where a person came to me troubled about an issue, seeking advice, and then didn’t take the advice I gave. This happens a lot in life when we think about it. Mostly people don’t want to be told what to do. They just need a sounding board. At other times they do partly what we’re expecting, but they take a strange way about it. As we “help” we can often be left scratching our heads.
Yet, it’s not our problem. It’s theirs.
Besides this knowledge we must know that we can’t always help, and a humble acceptance that we’re not solicited to help the way we’d want is the key. It’s great knowing that what we’d do, that the other person won’t do, is okay. It’s a freedom not extended beyond ourselves. It frees us to pray and hope for them; that they’ll find that solution they’re after.
People don’t always see our truth. We don’t always see theirs. This is okay, of course. It has to be. Their truth and reality is theirs and there’s nothing we can do about it.
So, why would we get upset or confused at the fact of people not taking our advice or guidance? (And not all of our advice or guidance hits the mark in any event, even for us, let alone them.) After all, it really has nothing to do with us what other people do, to a large extent at least.
People only ever accept (i.e. truly accept) help—the way it is intended—when it is right for them... right advice, right method, right way, right time...
It’s a fact that we can now see that most, if not all people cannot be helped the way we’d like to help. This, of course, is a great mystery from our very singular viewpoint, but one we must accept because, truly, there is no point in not accepting it.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.