I’ve got a friend.
Who’s in a challenging life situation.
And he’s working his way through it.
With professionals who know way more than I do on the subject.
Something I fear the professionals may be overlooking and remiss in sharing with him.
I really want to pick up the phone and just tell my friend what’s on my mind.
Something that could, without sounding dramatic, help save his life.
Or at least save the situation.
I really, really want to tell him my thoughts.
In fact, I’ve been wanting to say something to him for years.
But, I haven’t.
Because while I’m stuck on wanting to give him advice, I’m also stuck on fear of him getting insulted by it.
My unsolicited advice, that is.
Which may make him feel judged.
Or leave him to a desire of distancing himself from me.
So, I don’t say a word.
I keep my mouth shut.
But, it doesn’t mean I’m still not stuck on it.
So, I process:
Choose. Consider choosing another perspective. Well, a) here I am believing that my friend is lacking in some important wisdom, but the truth of the matter is he may already have it. I don’t know because I’m not 100% in the situation with him; b) my friend may not only already have this advice, he may be choosing not to act on it on purpose. In fact, maybe he believes this piece of advice is worthless; c) maybe he is acting on it and I just have no idea; d) while I kind of feel like parenting my friend, I am not his parent. Furthermore, even if I were his parent, he still may not want to be parented by me; e) the truth of the matter is, I really have no idea if my piece of advice would have any impact at all on his life or the situation.
The bottom line is, there’s more to the story here than I know because it’s not my story and I certainly don’t know everything. I’m not G-d. Maybe if he weren’t seeking professional help, I would be taking another perspective. But, he is. So there.
And one last thing for myself to consider: If my friend wanted any advice from me, well, he would ask. And, he hasn’t.
So, as difficult as it is for me to hold myself back, I am consciously doing so and at the same time reminding myself to have compassion for myself (it’s o.K.) for getting stuck on my own desires in the first place.