[This question came up when I was having a conversation with friends, so I thought I’d ask the experts … — Rob]
Rob: I’m feeling Lao Tzu.
Lao Tzu: Thank you, Rob, for inviting me. It’s always such a pleasure to talk to you. It’s such a beautiful spot where we meet on the bench next to the pond.
The question you posed of how to support others while staying true to yourself is stated somewhat backwards. It starts with yourself. Before one can help another, one has to be clear, settled, in oneself. Who am I? What do I believe? What is my truth? Only then can you extend yourself out to help another?
And the reaching out to help another, it must come from a place of balance, where you never lose yourself in another’s problems. Rather, you are always anchored in your own truth of who you are and why you’re here, that is to be Love, to be a reflection of Love. Helping another, first and foremost, is holding that space of Love for them to find their own way. Yes, you may offer guidance, may offer assistance, physical or otherwise, not out of a sense of obligation, but coming from a place of loving support. If you are moved to do so, please do.