when you allow yourself
to be a sounding board
for their complaints.”
[Classic post from 2-19-15]
Commiseration with another or their commiseration with you will only draw more of the subject to the party. I used to do this a lot. I would listen to people’s complaints, agree with their emotional conclusions about things; the inappropriateness, and acknowledge the random emotional pain inflicted by another for an unknowable reason.
Then, for some reason, I began to feel uncomfortable when others were complaining of their lives, while I still complained about my own. People didn’t listen so much to mine either, so I would just go over and over it in my mind. And, finally, at some point, I realized that my own complaining had no value, so I chose to stop for the most part, but not totally.
Now, I avoid it at all costs because I know the detrimental value of focusing there. I also know the detrimental value of being a sounding board for others. I am now in alignment with Abraham’s partial quote above. Here is the full quote:
“You never help others when you allow yourself to be a sounding board for their complaints. Seeing them as you know they want to be is the most valuable thing you can do for them. Sometimes that means removing yourself from their vicinity because when you are near them, it is difficult not to notice their complaints. You might say to them, “I’ve learned the power of my attention and thought, and so as I hear you speaking of what I know you don’t want, I must tell you that I must remove myself, for I don’t want to contribute to your miscreating.” Try to distract them from their complaints; try to help them focus upon some positive aspects. . . do you best to imagine their recovery.
You will know when you are of value to anyone when you are able to think about the person and feel good at the same time. When you love others without worry, you are an advantage to them. When you enjoy them, you help them. When you expect them to succeed, you help them. In other words, when you see them as your own Inner Being sees them, then and only then is your association with them to their advantage.”
Quite often though, we may instead be feeling sorry for them, thinking we are softening their pain by discussing the problems with them. If our focus is on something other than their own upliftment, by seeing them as they really want to be, we only add to their problems while we think we are giving them love. It is not only not helpful, but it also isn’t really loving.
Next time you see someone, or hear someone telling you or others what is going wrong in their lives, mentally, if not verbally, lift them up, help get them to focus on what is right in their lives, what is going well, finding better feeling thoughts for themselves, and then you can really be of value.
I try to do this all the time now, and although I may not be successful all the time, I am so far beyond the place I once was, and I find that I have been helpful to many. I am grateful for learning these insights. I’m certain it has changed my life for the better more than anyone else’s.
Being Of Real Service Means Uplifting Others.
Spread Some Joy Today–because joy always feels good in the giving as well as in the receiving.