- Mental Health
Are My Friends My Mirror?
“Friends are the mirror reflecting the truth of who we are” - Unknown
Four years ago, I was helping two friends who did not know each other, but were sharing a financial need. Both had the opportunity to get help from me in connecting them to resources that could provide the funds they needed.
One friend, let's call him John, who lives in Indiana, had a desire to go back to college before he turned 50 and get his degree in psychology. Being on disability and on a limited income, he was unable to pay for his college education. Since he asked for my input, I shared with him an email link to the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation as they could assist him. About 15 years ago due to a hearing disability this statewide agency paid $5,000 for computer classes when I was downsized from my corporate job. He ignored the information I sent him, and kept repeating, "it's not God's will he go back to college" and "my dream is over."
The other friend, lets' call her Mary, was living with her grandchild in NY. She has a huge heart, and had temporary custody of her then 7 year old granddaughter, but her daughter was fighting for full custody - problem is her daughter lives with a drug addict and past dealer who has been in and out of jail. The court system is so inept, that instead of making a quick decision, the custody case had been dragging on for 2 years, depleting her of funds. I spent hours for several days in helping her with the application process to obtain $1,000 in financing from donors at Modest Needs to pay her lawyer's fees - and I did it, she got prequalified! But when the organization asked for documents, such as her driver's license, lease and receipts, she was initially not willing to follow through because her driver's license expired and was cursing her 'bad luck.'
I started to feel frustrated because at that point I was not patient with those who did not take advantage of opportunity or gave up too easily. I was complaining to myself while taking a deep breath, and rolling my eyes, until I remembered that we are all students and teachers. What we see in the other is an opportunity to reflect on what is going on within us.
I realized that I have some of the traits that JOHN and MARY has. The impatient breathing and eye rolling suddenly stopped.
John and Mary give up too easily, and so do I in certain areas. What a perfect reflection, they were my mirrors, we all are!
I had been promising myself to write a book for years, but never followed through. I had tried to change some habits such as my eating habits - and always went back to my old habits as soon as I was bored or challenged about an issue. I found I seemed to be stuck in some areas of my life, while in others there was growth,
I have learned that being self-aware and an objective observer of our patterns helps us to understand ourselves better and to heal our lives. With this awareness, I broke through a pattern of procrastination and finally wrote my book " and published it. I also changed a few of my eating habits for the better. It's four years later, and I still have retained the healthier eating habits. Beyond Inspiration"
As for my friends, John decided not to go back to college and it's okay, we are entitled to change our minds. Mary finally followed through with the required documentation and won the custody case.
Thank you John and Mary for being my teachers on patience and in helping me to see my own self-limiting patterns.
We are here to learn, to teach, to nurture and to care - Anonymous
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