‘AMS, do you remember when I had a burn out?’ That is how I started the text I sent her last week.
AMS is a nominho I use for a former colleague. A few weeks after I first met her, years ago, I dreamt of her in my sleep. It was as if my dream tried to show me that in some ways we look alike. It was something I could not immediately see. As time passes, I start to realize it’s true. Like when I texted her last week and it almost felt like I was chatting to myself.
I feel compelled to share the online convo that AMS and I had here, in this place. So – with her permission of course – here it goes:
“AMS, do you remember when I had a burn out? You came to visit me at my apartment. I remember you were tired from workbut that you still wanted to make an effort and visit me. Sitting at the table on my porch you told me:
‘This might be hard to hear, but I’m going to tell you something that I was told when I had a burn out: in the end it is you who has to decide that you want to get well again.’
That helped me so much that time! And every time again I understand on a deeper level what you told me that day. Forever grateful for saying (daring to say) that to me!”
AMS, the sweetest thing, reacted in a loving way. And then she continued as follows.
“I just finished reading the story on your website entitled ‘unsolicited advice’. I think that, sometimes, exchanging experiences and telling your personal truth can be valuable: it is as if you sow something that, maybe, with some water and sun can bloom. The wish to ‘help’ is, in that case, grounded primarily in the underlying intention. The art is to then let go so that the other has the space to see what they get out of it. What do you think?”
“I think thatis exactly what happened with your advice from back then!
I also think it depends on how the receiver of advice/help receives. I, for instance, notice that, right now, I am better able to decide for myself what I want to accept and what I give back – in a friendly manner – to an adviser/helper.
I was also in a different place when I wrote the story ‘unsolicited advice’. I felt easily overwhelmed by advice and found it hard to distinguish what was for me. It was a snapshot.”
“Snapshots is what the journey consists of. Per definition.”
No more words needed, right? 🙂