I believe that we each help to create our reality. Sometimes we create our reality in very small incremental steps, so small that we do not see how these steps add up to what we are experiencing.
It is usually easier to see this phenomenon in other people’s lives. Because we stand outside, as a neutral observer, we see how their actions may be creating the thing that they are most afraid of, the thing they say they DO NOT want.
When I see this, the first question for me is: What is my role, if any, in their learning and their journey?
As a parent, an educator and coach, my first impulse is to teach and to try to show the way. I want to help and try to save these individuals the pain that I can see as inevitable in the path they have chosen.
We know the old adage: When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. As an educator, I did not always honor this. It was my job to create the learning environment for the student and to lead, cajole and sometimes push the student to learn.
As a coach, I know what I need to do. I usually only work with individuals who are ready for that journey of self-exploration and development. I work with individuals to help them create the reality that they want. Via the coaching relationship, we form a partnership in which the client is able to examine his life, identify goals and visions, and develop strategies to turn those goals and visions into reality.
I know that this impulse to teach or help is not always successful. Some lessons we cannot teach; a person has to come into that knowledge on his own. Despite this knowledge, it is extremely difficult to watch and remain neutral.
One of the hardest lessons I have learned as an individual and a coach is the lesson of “letting go.” I’ve learned to easily let go of my teacher persona. I know that I cannot FORCE someone to learn a lesson if they are not ready and if they do not seek the teacher.
As an individual experiencing my own life journey, I am becoming aware of being a neutral observer in other people’s journey’s, especially when they don’t ask for my help or for my insight and, even more, when they openly reject it.
During those instances, I have to ask myself what my own learning is. I know I am serving as witness to what may be happening, but I also examine the lesson for myself. I know that the experience is in my life for a reason, and I try to understand what that reason may be.
The question, then, is transformed to: What is the lesson here for me? Why AM I sharing this experience?
One lesson is using the experience to guide me to BEING the type of person I want to be. As a parent, as a friend, as a coach, I more often than not choose to give those whom I love the space so they can grow into their own self/person. I can choose to stand with them, without judgment, in their time of need. I can choose to give them a helping hand if they fall and want to get back up. I can choose to guide them if they think I can provide something of value.
The second lesson is using the experience to determine or make more clear what I want in my own life and then living to make it a reality.
The only way I can actively and consciously create my own reality is if I am clear about what I want and have general and specific strategies I use to achieve it in small increments. I know how I can help myself.
To help others, though, sometimes the best thing I can do is to get out of their way.