Christian Reifsteck | Standing Stones Healing Co.
In 2002, I worked at a Renaissance Faire (story for another day!), and one Saturday, one of the regular attendees grabbed my arm and said, "Christian, you have to meet my friend!" He pulled me over to an older woman, and when I said hi and reached out my hand to shake hers, she grabbed both of mine, yanked them toward her and started mumbling something that I strained to hear...
"Everything I've always thought and believed,
you have always thought and believed."
Or something like that. I looked around with bewilderment and confusion, both at her and the person who dragged me over, wondering what the heck was going on. Seconds later, she dropped my hands and went on her way.
That night, I reflected on the strange experience and her strange words...what did she believe? What did I now believe? Had I been cursed or anointed or what the heck was that? I was 22, newer to my personal spiritual path, and I freaked out a little.
Are we freaking clients and students out, too?
I'm sure this woman and her friend thought they were doing good work. I'm sure they thought they were spreading love and light. I'm sure they believed they were fulfilling their personal mission to make the world a better place. Like all of us, I'm sure they believed they were bringing good into the world and meant no harm.
But this is not the way to do it.
But permission is important. Being clear, open, and honest is important. Putting client/student understanding and desire before our own need to do good and our own will for their lives is important.
Most of us don't grab people's hands and say weird things thinking we're saving them, but let's strive to be aware of ways in which we might kinda be...because at that point it's not about helping: it's about us feeling like we're saviors. And at that point, it's really not doing good and it really is doing harm. My experience didn't feel good, and it did do harm.
Fortunately, I realized after only a little freaking out that if I had "always" thought what she thought, then I had already been thinking it before I even met her...and because I was only ever on the path of increasing kindness, love, respect, and compassion, I stopped worrying. And I turned out ok. Her behavior, though, wasn't, and it's a great example for our own practice.
Blessings to your practice!
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