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By Grant Lawrence
In my work as a counselor to children and teens, I have found certain attitudes to be helpful for healing.
Sure there are a lot of attitudes the kids can adopt to help them deal with issues of poverty, abuse, addictions, depression, anxiety, self-mutilation, suicidal ideation, and a seemingly never ending list of problems that they have to face. I look for ways to point to them and I try to have the kids entertain certain attitudes that can help them deal with their present problems.
But, the healing attitudes I am going to discuss here are the ones that I try to put into practice so that I can be of the greatest service to others. I have discovered that I am more successful in my work if I can first get my head on straight by daily embracing these attitudes.
- An Attitude of Love and Compassion
- An Attitude of No Self or Ego
The Self is an insidious little devil since its wants and desires pop up in our heads all of the time. Not only that, but the Self is always looking for glory and it measures the respect and adulation it gets or doesn't get. The Self wants to be Loved but doesn't take the time to Love. It is built on the illusion of an infinite body and personality that is separate from the rest of Life. The illusion of a separate, eternal Self I have found to be the hardest to move past.
Fortunately, I have also found that if I am able to move beyond my own, often silly, thoughts and desires for Self then I am able to better help others. This understanding often motivates me to move past my own Self-Focus.
The focus on Self gets in the way of awareness and correct understanding so that helping others is more difficult. Moving beyond that Self-Focus allows for a greater connectedness and empathy with others so that we can make better choices to help in healing.
- An Attitude of Patience
- An Attitude of Letting Go (Stillness)
Obviously when there are safety issues then we need to be actively seeking to help others. But I have also found that people have to be feel free to grow and make their own decisions. Sometimes that means that they make some bad choices and/or they don't much want to be helped out. I have learned that in those cases it is best to honor the person by allowing that person their choices and their space.
Developing an inner stillness is helpful in Letting Go. That means allowing life to take its course and being ready to step up and help when needed. I meditate several times a day but I also take a little time often to try to still my mind and just sit. I find that this Letting Go process gives me a little more energy and clarity so that I can be of greater service.