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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Wanting to Help

Wanting the help, especially those you care most about, is the most natural human instinct. We see someone suffering and we want to offer relief of that suffering. We want to step in and offer whatever resources we have to change the circumstances and make things better.

And there are few things more devastating than knowing that you can't fix something, you can't make things better no matter how much you love someone or care for them. The frustration of knowing that you should be able to make things better, but can't, is its own unique version of hell. For those of especially who are used to being effective at getting things done, not being able to help feel incomprehensible. How can we be so able and willing and yet our efforts yield no results.

I remember the first time I visited India and was faced with a level of poverty that simply doesn't exist in America, and over the next few weeks came to understand that all the solutions that work in my world don't begin to make an impact in that world. And it is often the same with the struggles of those we love. We can see the problem, understand it and be fully willing to help, but the help we offer may simply not be what is required to fix the problem.

There is a saying from my yogic practice that those who need the help are sometimes simply too weak to take it. What do you do with a soul who is suffering and struggling that you want to help, but they cannot take the benefit of your input, advice, ideas, resources, etc?  Maybe they reject the help, or waste it, or abuse it, or are simply unreceptive?

On the spiritual journey, there is always a way to help, there is always something you can do to make a difference, even when the one who needs help is too weak to receive it, and that is simply this: offer your prayers and love and good wishes to that soul, unconditionally and generously. If you cannot help in any other way, you can always offer your best wishes to that soul with purity of intention for their healing and well-being. It may be all you can offer, but it is not the least of what you can offer.

Each one of us needs the invisible support and protection of the blessings of good wishes from those who know and love us. There is no downside to offering this support, and the soul feels and experiences the benefit of it even if they don't know it's being offered. It might not fix a specific problem but it gives the one you care about power and energy so that they may become strong enough to make a difference themselves.

So when someone you love is out of reach, beyond your ability to help, you can still offer hope to them on that subtle, invisible and ever-so-meaningful level. All of G*d's children need the net of love and good wishes to support them, and you can make all the difference by sending it their way.


  1. Amen. Beautiful post. For what it's worth, this sentiment was often expressed to me at my darkest hour -- people wanted to help, but felt powerless to change anything. However, I can say that the gifts that were offered, of compassion and quiet presence, were deeply felt and instrumental in my healing. And you, my friend, gave that gift to me again and again. You have no idea how much that meant to me. x

  2. Oh, wow - I'm so glad. I'm so glad I could and so glad it mattered. We are such a support to each other! The invisible world is sch an important place.