My friend, whom I will call "Mary", has been locked in her ways for years. I have tried and tried to help her, but now I see that it has all been mostly a waste of my time. I see that she doesn't really want to change at all. This is mysterious to me, for she is miserable, and knows it.
A close friend told me an excellent parable about this to teach me:
A rich man had two sons. He gave each a bag of one thousand coins as a gift to help them. He only asked that the sons report how they used their coins. The rich man waited, and finally, he called his sons back, and asked what they did with their coins. The first son said, "I used the coins in business, and made ten times what you gave me. Here is your first thousand coins back." The father turned to the second son. "What did you do with your coins?" The second son answered, "I buried them in a field, and did not use them, just in case."
My teacher explained that I have been giving Mary bags and bags of coins, and she is not even using them. They are all buried, and she cannot even find them anymore. This showed me the error of my ways.
Now that I know this, what can I do? Should I do anything?
For example, how do public speakers manage to make us change our ways?
Blessings and Light, Jai (again)!
Vesuvius has it right, in my view.
The only way you change others is through your own example.
Apply all the metaphysical knowledge you have and make yourself the happiest, healthiest, most abundant and radiant living being you can possibly be.
And, sooner or later, people will start asking you how you manage to be so different to everyone else. Then, and only then do you have permission (from them) to tell them.
Providing answers to people who are not asking the questions yet is a painful and unrewarding activity - and an excellent way to alienate people. I should know - I tried it for years before I finally figured it out. :)
answered 14 Dec '09, 22:21
You inspire her by being a shining example of the kind of person you would like her to be.
Too often people give advice without following it themselves. That's called being hypocritical. I'm not saying that's what you're doing, I'm just saying that's what people often do.
Beyond that, you can ask gentle questions:
There's always a reason people hold on to their beliefs. Show me a person who claims they are miserable because they believe something but are unwilling to change, and I'll show you a person who is getting some kind of payoff for believing what they believe.
Maybe the payoff is that she gets sympathy and attention from you.
I also agree that the best way to teach people is by being a great example for what you preach.
That said, I know from experience how difficult and frustrating it could be when the people you want to help are very close and dear to you. I've found out that it's best to honor people's choices. If I feel that they don't really want to change I'd try to be very comforting when I am around them and I won't try to change them in any direct way. Trying to "help" others too much could be dictated by our ego by the way, from our need to feel that we are better then the other guy. I also wouldn't spend more time then necessary around people that don't need what I have to offer. After all instead of wasting time with them I could be doing something that someone else would really appreciate. You asked how do public speakers manage to make us change our ways...well, they don't have an equal effect on all people. Only those who already have the desire to change will benefit from the speaker's words.
What you can do is to accept and love your friend the way she is. She isn't broken or anything, she's just going through whatever she needs to experience. Stop giving her precious "coins" that she is not even using and give them to people who will appreciate them instead. :)
answered 14 Dec '09, 23:22
Vesuvius is right; some people want sympathy and attention, and this is, in some way, what makes them happy. I know it's hard to believe that someone would not be happy unless they were miserable, but these does seem to be the case with a few people. I know someone like this as well. What can you do? Just be supportive but don't get overly involved, or feed into her need for sympathy, which could be insatiable and drain you, doing neither of you a favor. You aren't responsible for her, she is responsible for herself, and after all, you have tried!
answered 14 Dec '09, 22:41
A friend I knew years ago was deeply into conspiracies, she was always depressed, upset and scared. She showed me many sites that the government is doing this that and the other thing. From time worm holes to jet streams to soda to microwaves to alien run secret government the list went on and on and on.
After a while I had to say "I've had it I am tired of all these negative sites you send me to!" She responded, "These are not negative they are informative!" I said "That is the same thing people say about the news", she started on about how the news is in conspiracy and couldn't be trusted and I stopped her. Finely I said, "listen maybe all of that is true but what good is it doing to know?"
She said I can avoid it then, I said, "you live in fear, you are upset all the time and depressed, I am not like that and I don't care about conspiracies." She said "well I can't stick my head in the sand, it is all right there if you look!" I said, "we find what we look for, in a garden I look for the flowers and you look for the weeds. It is true I don't see the weeds because I am looking at the flowers, but it is also true, you don't see the flowers because you are looking at the weeds."
We eventually parted she could not see what I was saying, and I could see what she was saying, so I said "this is not what I want to experience." I tried a few years to help her and she refused any help offered, she would rather believe maybe I was brain washed to not see or something who knows?
It is hard, we want to see our friends happy. But when they keep coming crying to us for help and then do not accept any help except our energy, they unfortunately become like a human parasite or energy vampire. Sympathy is a form of energy, if I push your buttons and get you mad at me, who do you spend the day thinking of? Probably not the one that made you happy, but the one that made you mad. If I come to you very depressed or upset and talk with you, who do you spend the rest of the night thinking of? If I can get you mad, worried or sympathy I WIN I get your energy! This is because you spend the rest of the day (and if I get you good enough maybe days or even weeks this could be years even!) thinking of me. Wow from one event I can plug a siphon into you and get your energy for years how about that!!! Most do not do this consciously unless they are into purposely doing this as in black magic type of stuff.
So the only way is to teach her to empower herself, to stop stealing your energy. In this everything must be directed to self worth, praise, value. Sometimes this can be a lot of work when you can't fit a word in edge wise talking with a very depressed friend. You must over talk all her negative with positive. Here are two reactions: it helps her feel better and starts the change, the other she feels you don't understand and seeks someone else to dump on.
She starts in with "my life is so lousy", you can cut in with "tell me of your day?" "Was the sun shining there today?" "Well yes" "Oh that is wonderful when the sun shines." It takes a lot of work but you need to dig and dig for everything positive and blow it up as the best. Until you can say most of her day was wonderful. It seems rude but you are trying to create a awareness shift, yes there is a lot of bad in the world and there is a lot of good in the world, everything just "IS" it is how you choose to experience what you choose to look at.
I think it is the Universe or God trying to teach you to accept people for who they are, instead of trying to change them to suite your preference.
I apologize if this answer sounds blunt, but it's the only answer that is coming to me.
(Added later): Hi jaianniah. I posted that response while at work. On my way home I pondered over what I wrote down (I was feeling bad that it seemed un-caring) & I am picking up something that may or may not be true. So if it doesn't apply just ignore the rest of this reply.
I think your experience with this person is somehow connected to your own experience, growing up. I have read some of your previous replies (How easy is it to change our beliefs?) & your mention of some of the difficult experiences you had growing up. You were a victim in ways that you cannot change or take back from your childhood. (I understand some of this difficulty because things happened to me as well, but I wish to keep them private. I have dealt with my past & choose not to discuss it anymore)
When you try to cleanse your memories of things that happened to you sometimes you feel like you have been damaged for life & have been given an imperfect & un-fair start in life. I felt that way, & asked God many times how I could have a "normal" life free of blemishes or memories of suffering, especially because it seemed like I didn't choose the things that happened to me.
I really, really had difficulty with being Ok with an imperfect life. I wanted to have a normal memory of growing up instead of the one I was stuck with. So there were parts of my "suffering" memories that I just couldn't accept or resolve for a long time. It was a continuous "Why me, Why me, kind of broken record.
I eventually accepted what happened & it was like learning to accept all of my self just the way I am, and accepting the idea that No mater what I can't change or "erase" parts of my life I just have to embrace the good & the bad of my own existence.
So maybe this lesson of you having to accept this person just the way she is, is actually, a lesson to help you accept your own childhood, or your life experience, the way it is, because you can't "fix" or "erase" what happened. The only thing you can do is incorporate all your experiences, even the painful parts that you would like to reject or change.
You have to allow the person "who is your friend" to be herself & not change her, & yet accept her friendship, just like you have to accept memories that you can't change or get rid of.
My experience is similar to this, that's why I am suggesting this as a possibility of what you are going through.
Either way, you are God's creation & you’re worthy of existence. Your presence on this universe is bringing great joy to everyone and everything that is around you. Whether you see yourself this way or not, it is so.
Since you bolded the question about public speakers, I thought I would chime in specifically about that.
Public speakers motivate people to change by being inspirational. There are many techniques that motivational speakers use to accomplish this. However, as I have been to many motivational events, I can tell you that this type of motivation lasts all of five minutes. After it fades, what do you do then?
If the motivational speaker is honest, he will tell you that most of the people who listen to his speeches do not actually use the information that is offered to change their lives. Only a tiny percentage of those at the event actually apply the information that they receive after the event is over. There are many reasons for that. Sometimes they have to hear the information several times in different ways before they grasp it. Sometimes they are not yet ready to hear what is being offered.
The most successful of motivational speakers give their audience exercises. It's one thing to hear the information, but if the participants actually have things that they can do immediately, the odds of them actually applying the information in their daily lives goes up dramatically.
Everyone here has pretty much summed it up "Be the change you want to see" or "when the student is ready the teacher will appear". If your friend is not ready to awaken, all the trying in the world on your part will not help her. Frustrating as it may be, you have to accept where she is at right now on her journey and just Be an example and inspiration by shining your own light and living to your full potential.
Just know that you will be there for her, if and when she is ready to awaken and help herself.
answered 15 Dec '09, 01:41
My advice to you is to have faith as a grain of mustard seed, and to continue to pray for help for your friend. As they say, the light is much brighter at the end of the tunnel, but you will have to get there first to see the light. Be patience, continue to support your friend in a positive way, give space when space is needed, do the best you can without casting judgement. Everything will come in God's time, just keep on with your praying.
Sometimes people are so used to darkness, that they do not want to see the light; so you may have to wait on them, but even so, they may not want to come out of their comfort zone. This is, in my opinion, one of those situation, that you will just have to leave it to time, and hope for the best, but never stop praying for your friend, this is the time she will needs you more that ever, because, she knows that she is unable to listen; but in the same token, you need to keep on talking, hopefully, she will hear you in God's time.
In terms of public speakers, we attend these workshops, and we listen, and we learn; we take what we want from these workshop, and we leave, and we may move onto the next, and the next workshop. We are making a conscious decision to attend, or not to attend. We either like the speaker and will stay to listen, or we do not like the speaker and will leave, either way, it is by choice, or by free will
answered 15 Dec '09, 06:58
Inactive User ♦♦
"Mary" had a very bad childhood. She is an orphan with absolutely no family. She has granted me the honor of being a second mother to her.Her situation, her aloneness, has kept me from abandoning her.
But I have ascertained that she is really having the longest temper-tantrum of existence! Basically, she is screaming, "I WANT MY MOTHER! NO ONE ELSE WILL DO!",
Based on advice from my spiritual teacher, I have removed her "hook" from my solar plexus. I have decided to show her love by not giving up any more of my energy; rather, I am being supportive, but am no longer indulging her tantrum. I am only being an example now, and have seriously taken all the advice given. I am NOT going to abandon her; but I am going to act more like a real mom and stop supporting her self-pity. "Detach with love", says Al-Anon. The Traveller most correctly assessed the situation; I believe that this information came to him from his experience and his Higher Power.
Thank you for your answers! Your experience and wisdom is not lost on me. I am already investing the coins that you all have so graciously given to me. Thank you.
I wanted to also add that since I have done these things, Mary's behavior has abruptly changed. It is absolutely spooky how fast this has happened! It really does work!
My childhood was hideous.The journey of releasing it has been painful, but very much worth it, now that I have grown and can see it objectively. It is really possible to put the past behind!
Blessings and Love, Jaianniah
answered 15 Dec '09, 07:32
Hi jaianniah. I feel compelled to respond to your post in a separate response because I feel I have some information to share that won’t fit in the comments section.
First, Thank you for your kind words of appreciation.
But as my ego inflated I think my higher power was hiding up there somewhere & caught me & whacked me hard on the head. I had to stick my spiritual tail between my legs & come back running as fast as possible down to earth again. I am hiding out in a hole right now. I think my higher power and I are not in talking terms for a while.
All joking aside I know that I definitely don’t have any higher power than anyone else. I think we all have the same power. In fact I believe we are all spirits with tremendous power but chose to volunteer as human actors with purposeful limitations in this living theatre of life.
But all things being equal I believe each of us is contributing towards this database of human consciousness with each of our experiences, and those of us with, apparently, the most useless lives probably make the greatest contributions. They say that only experienced souls take on the difficult assignments.
As for the higher power thing, I think we expand rather than go higher.
When we have a highly concentrated consciousness, I believe, it produces extreme logical thinking, but extreme narrow minded outlook, and very little access to inspiration or the catching of pure creation energy without interfering it with thought. This kind of person is very reliable & gets things done but has no original ideas. They only believe in learned knowledge that came from some “verified source”
At the other end we have an extremely relaxed non focused consciousness that is allowed to “expand” by listening as often as possible instead of “thinking” every movement of the consciousness with the endless chatter of thought. This expanded consciousness becomes inspirational, broad minded, and generally a daydreamer with the head in the clouds. This kind of person is capable of brilliant ideas of inspiration, often surprising even the person who is getting the ideas, but is totally un-reliable in actually accomplishing things that need to be done on a timely manner.
So who is better? Both types of people are needed on this planet because things won’t function without both. I am more to the head in the clouds type, but as a result, I am not very disciplined and can’t be relied upon to manage a project (for example). But most of my ideas surprise me because I am not consciously putting it together in a logical way. I listen to it instead.
I have a long way to go & I am working on going wider not higher. Everyone here I believe is brilliant in their expressions & I am so glad to be invited into this company from whom I can learn so much. Just look at the amazing questions people ask.
I am looking forward to learning more from you and everybody else here. Thank you; you are a great presence in this forum.
answered 16 Dec '09, 05:03
The best way you can teach anyone is through the clarity of your example like many answers have pointed out above. People never seem to follow advice given by others unless they see physical evidence of how well the other person is doing. This could be prosperity, happy family, great job etc.
The other factor to take into account is if something works for you, it doesn't mean that it will work for somebody else. Their beliefs play a big role in whether your advice will be helpful to them. This is why if they see physical evidence that your are doing very well in your life, they will be inspired to follow your advice, and it will work for them.
answered 19 Dec '09, 18:47
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