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Sunday, January 10, 2016

IT'S NONE OF MY BUSINESS...

Thanks to my friend Trish who is probably one of the most successful people I know when it comes to profound integrity (and I very much value her guidance in my life), I now know the power of the phrase, "It's none of my business." She mentioned this phrase to me awhile back during one of our conversations about bringing profound integrity into our lives.  I was pondering an issue at the time, wrestling with myself over trying to help and/or change someone who I thought needed my help.  As it turns out, when I was able to apply the, "It's none of my business," principle to the mix, it took so much stress out of the equation and my friend worked the problem out in her way and in her time, which was best for her.

I used to try so hard to please people (a version of the old me that I am so glad I changed for the better) and I would constantly offer help to people who didn't necessarily want it and usually didn't ask for it.  I guess I thought that just because I considered them friends and therefore family, that I needed to help them because I loved them.  I thought that if they confided in me then they were asking for guidance...but sometimes they just wanted me to listen.  After I began to apply this phrase to my life (and subsequently to others' lives by using it), I realized that when we offer help or advice to other people that we care about, it is best to first wait to be asked.  It's great to talk to each other and talk things out, and it's great to work out your problems together, but ultimately the decision to change has to come from the person who is living that life.  Sometimes unsolicited advice or help that is not asked for can be mistaken by others as trying to control their lives or trying to change them and, if you love a person for who they are (which is the only reason to have them in your life in the first place) then why are you trying to change them.  

Sometimes when we love someone, no matter the type of relationship (friendship, partner, family, etc), we want the best for that person and we tend to think that what we would do or how we would handle something they are going through, is the best way for them to handle it too. There are even those people who, when they give you advice or a helpful directive, will check up on you often to see if you took that advice or followed the directive. I knew a lady years ago who would basically tell me what to do whenever we chatted and then call me the next day and say, "Well, was I right? I was right, huh? I told you so."  To me this was so irritating, especially since I didn't ask for her advice in the first place. Needless to say, she and I didn't remain friends for long.

Make sure that when help or support is offered, it is offered as a gift.  A gift is something you give to another person out of love and after you give the gift, you leave it to that person to do with as they will. They can take it, they can leave it, they can give it back.  If nothing else comes of it, the joy of offering this gift in the spirit of giving is a reward within itself because you had it in you to want to help a person you cared about...when they asked you for your help.

You will be amazed by how uttering the phrase, "It's none of my business," will change how often you offer advice or even get involved in things you are not asked to get involved in.  If you think about it, it actually ends up causing you to expend so much more of your time and energy that you could have used to focus on an area of your life that needed more time and energy.  I was watching some silly sitcom on t.v. the other day and the boy said to the girl, "You really just walk around all day worrying about other peoples' feelings?" and the girl replied, "Yeah," to which the boy responded, "Wow, how do you get anything done?"  She then said, "I don't," and that brought this post to mind.  I realized that this was 100% spot on to who I used to be. How can you expect to get anything accomplished in your own life if you constantly worry about other peoples' lives? You can't, not realistically. It's very honorable to be the best friend, lover, and/or family member you can be to others, but not at the expense of your own life, especially when doing so causes stress and worry on your part. 

When you encounter a situation in which you feel compelled to offer advice without being invited to do so, say to yourself, "It's none of my business," and move on. You can say to the person, "If you ever need help or advice with that situation, let me know, I would be happy to help you."  That gives them a choice and lets them know they have you on their side and in their corner, which is really important. You will be surprised at how many people then come to you for advice more often, mainly because you merely extended the offer of help for them to use in their time and at their comfort level.  

On the other side of this coin, if you know someone who does this all the time and you find it irritating, let them know that while you appreciate their intentions of wanting to help you out, it would be more helpful to know that you could just go to them when you needed to and ask for their help on your own. 

Imagine starting a project that you are really enjoying or are passionate about and someone comes up and moves you aside and completely takes it over.  Life is a project and we each have one that we are in the process of building.  We can invite others to come and help us with it when we need it, but what are we going to learn if someone does it for us...

It's none of my business...but I'm always here to help if you need me.



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