I had a dream last night in which I was in a car with other adults going to a very adult event like a classical music concert. For some reason, we stopped near a school. There was a boy in the car in front of us who was hit in the head with a hard baseball.
He slumped over the wheel. No one seemed to even notice, but me. I got out of the car and went over to him. He was not alert, so I asked him, “Are you OK? Please say something if you can hear me.” He said “My back really hurts.”
I tried to yell at the other people in my party, asking them to go in the school and get help. Everyone ignored me. For some reason, I did not think to call 911 myself. I was upset that no one else was helping.
At first, I thought this was a young boy, say 9-10 years old. But if he were driving the car, that would make him 16 at least.
I have these beliefs that appear relevant to this dream:
* We are all safe and the dramas being played out here are the ones we want to play, on some level, however unconscious of that we may be.
* Adults are capable of managing themselves. I am not responsible for taking care of another adult. After all, I cannot possibly know what each person’s soul is up to.
* By the age of 10 or so, a person is capable of surviving on their own. It may not be easy, but it is doable.
* I am free to offer my help when I want. No one else is required to take it or have to offer their help in the same situation.
* Offering help can be construed as an interruption or even invasion of someone else’s space. For all I know, they wanted to see how far they could suffer or they were just on the verge of figuring it out themselves, or any other number of possibilities.
I am reminded of how incensed I am when religious crusaders come to my door, thinking I am the equivalent of the boy in the car — needing to be rescued away from whatever into the arms of Jesus.
And yet, I truly enjoy helping. So I have learned to adopt a mantra, “Make ’em beg” whereby I don’t impose myself but rather wait for others to ask for help. Yes, this is tricky because for many, asking for help is such a hot button for their neuroses. (Think men and travel directions.)
It is also tricky for me in business because I often want to help our clients understand things better or know about options to help them grow their business. Some really appreciate this, and say that is why they like having us as vendors. Others do not. Or they do, but only if it is free to them. So figuring this out in the business relationships seems to take a little bit of time.
The question I am pondering today is how to keep weaning myself from intrusive helping while still being available to help when it is mutually wanted? I realize that even I am not always in the mood to help either.
And I am also creating more ideas for “Beach Walks with Rox” videos. I like talking, I do go to the beach every morning and attempt to commune with my soul. I imagine that others might be interested in that too. A perfect aspect of a video podcast is that I can just do it, without targeting or involving anyone else (except my beloved camera man Shane). It is a completely “opt-in” situation for whomever want to watch the shows.
Just like those adults in my dream. None of them were interested in responding to my pleas to help the boy. That is independent of the fact that I did want to offer help.
# Maybe I don’t have to knee-jerk respond every time I see someone in perceived “trouble.” I could wait for them to ask.
# If I do decide I want to offer help, that is my deal, and no one else’s.