Day 700: De-Miser - The Art of Unconditional Support

I saw this image on my Facebook news feed and immediately decided I would write a blog on this particular topic.

So much in this world is transactional, give a little to get a little. There's nothing wrong with this, but it has created a common belief that you shouldn't give if you're not going to get something back in exchange. This belief has led to a miser-like mentality, where we cling to our things and skills with a possessive obsession - "it's MINE unless you want to give me something of equal value". This mentality ripples out into our entire social structure, instilling, for example, the belief that people shouldn't get something they haven't worked for - even the basic living essentials. Essentially, the principle of support is not being lived by mankind, for real support is unconditional - it does not depend on the potential for reciprocation.

Every man for himself - this is more like what we are living. Help others only when you get some kind of return (even if it's something that makes you feel good). We also have the tendency to not want to support someone when they might not like how we support them - sometimes doing what is best for someone means doing something they won't like - and it seems like remaining in good standing with someone is preferable to doing something that will actually benefit them. Again, the tendency towards self-centeredness shows its face.

Let's look at the question of What is unconditional support?
  1. Assessing the person you are considering supporting. What is their design (what patterns are they dealing with, how do they process information, what are their tendencies, what are their life experiences, etc), what is their current position, where do they want to be, is where they want to be the best possible place for them at this point of their life, etc. So you're looking at the bigger picture of this person's life. Be objective - do not include your personal opinions or desires. This means that you need to put yourself in this person's shoes as if you are them, as if you lived their life and see through their eyes. 
  2. If you are currently unable to be objective or to see what the best solution is then the best thing for you to do may be nothing at all! Often doing nothing is better than doing something that is not actually the best thing for this person. 
  3. Make sure that your intentions and starting point is clear - let go of ANY expectations you may hold (ie expectations of success or failure, etc) and let go of any kind of desire for reciprocation or acknowledgement. Yes, by this I mean that however this person responds to you personally should not influence your willingness to support them (even if they do not say "thank you"!)
  4. Realise that the process of support may take time - even years. You need to be willing to assess in an objective manner where to stop (ie, if someone is being abusive in some way will you continue standing as support in their lives - and if so, to what extent?) - if you are compromising yourself then it is time to consider setting aside this point of support, maybe it will open up in the future when you or the other person is in a better position. Deciding to withdraw support can be a difficult choice, but realise that you will not always be able to support a person - take the time to assess points like this. 
  5. Assess whether the person you are considering supporting has the potential to change or grow within this point of support. Sometimes people are just not ready or willing at all, but if you see the smallest spark then you may be able to ignite it into a flame - again, this may take considerable time. 
  6. Sometimes the person you are supporting within a point may do something to hurt you. Breathe and forgive. Very often when you are working with another person you will see the effects of their design and patterns (you could even say "nature" within the consideration that nature is not a fixed thing) manifesting in their lives. To quote Jesus, forgive them, they know not what they are doing. Sometimes people have to live their patterns so that they can actually see what they are doing, see the effects of their actions and realise that this pattern exists within them. Very seldom are these things truly deliberate - this is why it is so important to be willing to understand someone's design so that you can see where they are walking through a pre-programmed system or whether they are being deliberately abusive (for example). 
  7. Sometimes support means saying no. Allowing dependency can stifle someone's self movement - ie they are depending on you instead of moving themselves to change their lives. Sometimes "no" can be the greatest form of support you can ever give. 
As you can see, there are many points to consider. It is a difficult thing to give support, especially when people do not take that support and actually move themselves to change - and this is very often the case. It requires an almost infinite patience and empathy. You may make mistakes - learn from them. You may change someone's life (to a degree - remember that each person is responsible for their own choices and life) - it may at times seem like you changed someone's life for the worse - learn from it. People may not want you in their lives anymore - don't take it personally.

Supporting another in this way may be one of the hardest things you ever do, for it requires that you completely give up your self interest around and toward the other person(s), which is somewhat against current human "nature". I do not mean that you compromise yourself - I mean that you must give up your point of view and desires about and for the other person.