Monday’s Meditation: On Being An Encourager

April 2, 2018

Note to self. Start encouraging the bettering of everyone.

It happens with some regularity that clients confess that prior to their hiring me, their sister/mom/spouse tried to convince them that they didn’t need to.

“You can do that on your own!” They were told. “But you’re already so organized!” People said. “You’re always getting rid of stuff, how can you need help doing that more?!”

Maybe the statements caused a delay in their contacting me, but eventually, ultimately, thankfully, my clients are ones that manage to honor their own needs, rather than heeding the reactions of their loved ones.

These reactions are not a personal attack towards me–they have nothing whatsoever to do with me–and so mostly, I’m amused by such news.

Except that the tendency to interject and transpose our needs and values onto others happens with a high frequency–not just in regard to the hiring of professional organizers.

One friend balks at the news that her pal is considering hiring a personal trainer. A sister expresses judgment towards her brother for considering to hire a full-time nanny. A husband questions whether his wife is right to think they need to hire a housekeeper (SHE IS, DUDE; GET ON BOARD.).

This is a classic example of how we inappropriately conflate ourselves, our values, and our needs, with others’.

We do this because the help that people we love choose to pay for may not mirror how we choose to spend our hard-earned dollars.

We do this because we think our barometers are the same as others’; because we think someone is really good at editing means they must also feel they’re really good at editing.

And we do this because the news that someone in our lives is actively seeking to make a change feels threatening to our conception of ourselves. Suddenly, our efforts may feel half-wrought in comparison.

But none of these are justifiable reasons for us to dismiss or shut down another’s curiosity and desire to solicit support.

Often, the most loving thing we can do for people is to be aware of the fact that we cannot and do not know the sort of support from which others feel they’ll legitimately benefit.

Simply put, we’ve got to get better at celebrating others’ inclinations to become better versions of themselves.

The bettering of all is our common goal, isn’t it?

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