“The day you were born, a ladder was set up to help you escape the world.” 


This quote offers an intriguing vision for the potential of life. We are destined to climb the ladder, moving up each rung. With each rung, we move closer to living an enlightened life.

One path to this upward climb are those moments of difficulty that are truly moments of growth.

Recently, I had one of those moments. It became clear to me about an insight into myself, one that while well intended, caused harm in addition to good.

I recognized that in my effort to help, I was not truly listening to the needs of others. I was trying to fix something, if it was a relationship between two people, or a daily task, I was acting before taking a moment to truly listen.

My initial reaction was sadness after hearing from two loved ones, in two unique situations, that I wasn’t helping after all. I reflected, “I was just trying to help.”

There was an opportunity to take a breath and reflect on the similarities of the two situations, one which was professional and one which was personal.

I found that I was frustrating those who I thought I was helping. I could have done nothing, and the result would be the same. My ego took a hit, as I knew my intentions were good but the results were not.

I am learning more and more how important it is to allow people’s wishes to be followed, to listen to their desires, and to support them (even if I think I have a better way, a way that could avoid conflict or pain).

Perhaps the ladder for others are to experience that situation, and my good intentions are not only blocking my growth, but that of who I am helping.

Helping others my way is not the best way. Listening, supporting and truly hearing the needs of others is the path that truly respects the experience of others, and moves us both upward toward that spiritual enlightenment we are all seeking.

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