My father used to have a great phrase:
“Let them screw it up the way they want to!”
I call on this mantra often. It reminds me that our agenda isn’t necessarily what someone else needs in a given moment, and it gives a nod to our need (ego) to show others that we really know what’s best for them.
In a word, this teaching comes down to boundaries.
You know the scenario—we’ve all been there and we’ve all “known better” than the people involved: we see someone “making a mistake”, “needing a shortcut”, “unable to meet the task at hand”, or “just plain wrong!” That’s the moment we rush in with our oh so perfect solutions to appropriate the situation and make “everything better”.
Really? And how well has that worked for You—not to mention those involved?
I liken it to shooting a movie. You have a script, you know the players, you’re directing the forward motion of the plot, you know how it will turn out, and you ready yourself for the kudos and awards to follow.
Not so fast ……
You may have a draft, yet it’s not an accurate script; the players involved have no idea that they’ve been cast to embody your vision; you think you’re directing the scene, yet to those involved, your actions are intrusive and misplaced; and when it comes time for the throngs of adulation, you’re bereft and feeling unappreciated.
I’m not implying for a minute that You stand back and do nothing when someone really needs your help or the situation calls for it. Rather, I’m asking you to honor another’s process, hold the space for it and become a sacred witness for that person.
How do You do that?
They key elements are respect, trust and presence.
Respect their right timing and the innate knowledge they already have; trust that there is an order to this process that may not have revealed itself yet; and presence — dare to just be there and do nothing!
The Practice? — as ever, draw on the basics:
Track Your Self—are you getting ready to direct the scene to a perfect outcome?
If so, stop again and take a mindful breath.
Remember—this is not your “production”. You already have several of your own that are in various stages of development.
I also like to keep in mind ( and take to heart ) that if we help a butterfly release itself from it’s cocoon, we hamper it’s ability to fly. It needs to struggle and meet it’s own challenges without undue interference—just like we do —so that it can soar.
Watch. Listen. Practice. SwaffWords© Video