Beliefnet
Letting Go with Guy Finley

Question: In conversations with others, I find myself insisting on being “right.” Why should I care so much that my ideas about life are understood by others?

Answer: Be willing to try to understand the moment instead of needing to be understood in it. You will lose yourself, and you will begin to have the great bliss of disappearing from your own life. At first, as you are willing to work to understand others more than you want to be understood by them, it seems a diminishing experience. But you will grow through this kind of self-negation into a new sense of yourself that actually includes all of life. You will begin to have a completely different relationship with everyone around you because you are no longer bringing yourself first and foremost into every relationship.

Question: It is difficult to accept correction from other people. How do we judge the quality of correction when someone offers advice or criticism? I look at the unhappy lives of many of the people giving input, and think that their advice isn’t worth much if they have such difficulties. On the other hand, I might be missing some valuable correction. Any advice?

Answer: Do you remember the old expression “If the shoe fits, wear it”? Well, in our spiritual work, any reaction we have to a correction proves that our shoes not only fit, but they are laced too tight. We can use everything that is thrown at us (right or wrong) to walk away from what is wrong within ourselves. This path naturally turns every so-called “wrong” into a Right.

Question: I know someone who drives me crazy, and I want to help him by sharing the truths I am learning. Without using interfering tactics, how can we help others to come awake to themselves?

Answer: One of the most difficult aspects of our work is learning to bear the unpleasant manifestations of people around us. But this can also help us grow quickly. If by interfering tactics you mean, “make someone see the light,” it is impossible. But if we will do our work, which often requires waiting out our own unpleasantness before speaking, then not only can we lend someone a helpful word or action, but they will see that we are behaving differently. This willingness on our part to inwardly accept the weight of our own burdens first is really the best invitation to others to become interested in this Work.

Question: Is there a way we can know we are ready to teach others? I have tried and found I normally make things worse. How do I find the balance between the urge to help and when to be quiet?

Answer: It is the essence of our lives that determines the relationships we have with others. Teaching is a lot simpler than we imagine. For instance, what do we teach others when we are angry or anxious? What do we teach others when they see us afraid of some news? This is one level of teaching. On the other hand, there are natural times when (and this is important to note) someone you know will actually ask you for some insight or help. Then not only is it natural, but necessary, that you give what “water” you can to ease their thirst. Under no circumstances should you try to teach others anything they haven’t asked for. This kind of teaching comes from the wrong parts of ourselves and is a secret act of aggression and arrogance. Learn to taste the difference. The Truth will take care of the rest.

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