As practitioners in any field of care, or any point of authority, when people look up to us or listen to our opinion, we have a degree of influence. Sometimes this is recognised and at other times it’s not fully understood.
If you take a moment and think about all the people you’ve affected along your path, you’ll realise what impact you’ve made. Hopefully you can look back at it for the most part and feel that was it real, purposeful and empowering for others.
Everyday, in a multitude of ways, we have influence and the power to use our voices in any way we choose. I personally hope that for the most part I’ve been able in some way to shine a light in this world. To be able to offer insight, reflection, hope or encouragement to those who may need it in some small way. I know, and I’m aware that at times I may have missed the mark in being able to do so. Not everything is going to land. Some people will take things the wrong way. Some will invert my message. Some will attack or place blame. I’ve grown to understand that this is the way of the world, and all I can do is reach for the next thing that I can deliver that will hopefully be positive for others.
I’ve also grown to understand the importance of neutrality. I think this is something that is greatly misunderstood. Neutrality doesn’t mean you don’t care. It means delivering things to the public that serve them, versus what will overwhelm, bombard, distort, confuse or disempower an individual. Sometimes the message gets lost, because you didn’t “read the room” and assess whether an opinion or a point of view would only work against the empowerment of another individual.
From personal experiences, I can recall a time when someone close to me was constantly criticizing another individual in my life and because I was protective of them, I couldn’t see or receive the point of view of the opinion that was being hammered onto me. I felt cornered, provoked and trapped by it. There was a cognitive dissonance in my own mind, because of the loyalty I held to that individual versus the negativity that was being sprouted about them from someone else. It was as if the more people tried to have a go at them, the more I would push back, because it felt harmful versus helpful. It was only when that person with the strong opposing opinion was able to hold space for themselves and come to me in humility without agenda in that moment, and with respect to where I was at that time, that I was able to hear what they were trying to express in their message.
You cannot destroy someone’s framework of reality and hope to replace it with your own point of view if someone isn’t ready for that. If anything, placing someone in a place of chaos and confusion after a conversation probably does more damage than good. We sometimes think that the truth at any cost is better than a watered down, palatable message.
Is this kind of righteousness actually righteous?
Is this kind of healing, really helpful?
As I’ve gotten older I’ve had to learn the art of towing the line between what I want to say outright, versus the question of whether this will actually help the people I care about or that I’m responsible for. Again lessons learnt along the journey and on the job. And also, side note, I’m not saying this to criticize the way others do things. These are my thoughts and reflections.
“To thine own self be true.”
Always try to come from a place of love, respect for the intelligence of the individual, and the understanding that each person is their own sovereign being, working out their understanding of reality as they go along. And that this understanding is inevitably going to change, grow and evolve with time, and that if it doesn’t and it doesn’t match your viewpoint, or you believe that it conflicts against your own, then that’s ok too.
Ask yourself, “has what I’ve offered them allowed them peace, clarity and empowerment, or put them in a place of confusion, conflict and despair?” “Was the information I gave them warranted and something they could palette?” “Or was it laced with my own fears, doubts and distrust?” And even if I am right, or I believe that I’m right, what good is that to the other person if I’ve left them in a state of cognitive dissonance, where they won’t be able to integrate this information in a healthy and safe way.
Not everything can be avoided. Life will thrown curveballs, and rude awakenings. Its not always our job to play judge and jury, but to consider our influence and how best to serve others with our insights, so that they can grow to be adaptive and healthy individuals, capable of finding their own answers, and capable of drawing upon the strength and the truth that they find within themselves.
Maurice Katting is a Shamanic Healer and Fibre Artist based in Melbourne Australia
You can connect with him at http://mauricekatting.com for information on one to one sessions, in a range of modalities, as well as purchase of his mandalas and artworks