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"/>Memo to those with a Heart of Service - Ann McMaster M.A., L.P.C.


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Memo to those with a Heart of Service

My heart-felt attempt to be supportive of others, has often (well, maybe not Often, but at least Sometimes) encouraged helplessness (or maybe: discouraged competence) in others.

My rationale is that, “as the eldest of 8 children, it was my ‘duty’ to take care of my siblings.” Retrospectively, it makes sense that my chosen profession was psychotherapy – trying to figure out how to ‘help’ people. So ultimately I got paid for a concept I bought as a kid.

Also, retrospectively, and honestly, I resented the lack of freedom to pursue my own path, not realizing that I was the one who substituted My Path for Their Path. I was praised for taking care of the kids. Even now, I get praise for Being There for others.

The trick is always about ‘boundaries’ – the difference being – what’s My Journey, what’s NOT my journey. One of my friends put it succinctly, “I don’t want to crucify mySELF or nail myself to somebody else’s cross.” Ouch. I knew exactly what they meant. Being willing to serve – YES! Sacrificing my time/energy/money/expertise that could preclude them from learning their lessons? This calls for the discernment of a Spiritual Warrior.

So I’m on the watch: Will my support be short-term so that They get through a temporary situation? Or will my support become long-term that could keep them from making reality-based changes? Even if my support does become long-term AND they are making changes – I’m good with that.

New Intention:  My journey is MY journey. Your journey is NOT my journey. And ALL  journeys work in the Big Scheme of Things. And my specific journey is now primarily about staying awake to My Journey and, secondarily, waking others up to pursue Their Journey. Because ultimately, all our journeys make a difference – either positively or negatively.