Maybe it started when I realized that "someone could accuse you of something that you've never done. And they will be so convinced that they're right that nothing you do will change their mind."
Or when I got so angry at those in my life who ask for help and then get angry at me for suggesting they stop the hurtful behavior.
Some people say they want advice. What they really want is validation for the decision or judgment that they've already made.
The decision that, "I am a victim."
The decision to continue with a course of action or non-action that isn't serving them.
A judgment of another person. Or themselves.
The decision that "I am not deserving of anything better than this..."
What I've noticed lately is that most of the time, people have already made up their minds when they ask for advice.
I'm not sure if those in my life realize the power they have.
They are the only ones with the power to change their situations by changing their minds.
So lately, when I've had discussions with friends or family, and I'm observing they're asking me for my advice or they're accusing someone of something or they're convinced about their own victimhood, I've said NOTHING AT ALL.
This is difficult for me, this silence. I'm my daddy's daughter, opinionated and out-spoken.
But now I'm realizing that it's nothing more than a waste of words. I should save my breath. They're only hearing what they want to hear.
"I do not perceive my own best interests."
Lesson 24, ACIM
The above quote is one of my favorite lessons from A Course in Miracles. I can think of many times that I thought I knew what was right or what I wanted but life had other ideas. And funny enough, those other ideas were exactly what I needed to happen.
I also love this from ACIM:
"Remember how many times you thought you knew all the 'facts' you needed for judgment, and how wrong you were! Is there anyone who has not had this experience? Would you know how many times you merely thought you were right, without ever realizing you were wrong?"
Sometimes I want to say to the people in my life:
Does being right about this bring you peace? And if it doesn't, do you think perhaps that you could be wrong?
*Would you rather be right or happy?*
In seeing all of this around me, I am reminded that I should always ask myself the exact same question.
Perhaps some of us (yes, me too) forget that we actually do want peace. Perhaps sometimes, we enjoy the pain.
Who am I to judge what people in my life feel or are going through? Maybe their pain is serving them and driving them towards something greater. They are the only ones who will decide when they've had enough, just as I've had to do on my own. Maybe then, when the "pain exceeds the pleasure" (thx D!), they (or I) will open up a tiny space to look at things in a different way.
Until then, I will listen. Love. And (do my best to) remain silent.