It is so easy to give advice when it’s not your problem, isn’t it? Not sure what it is about me. I attract people who want to tell me their problems. Perhaps in another life, I was a therapist. I am a problem solver. I always want to solve problems, even if it is not mine. I believe it has to do with wanting my family/friends to be happy, to be in a good place mentally and emotionally. Also, somehow, our minds have much more clarity when the problem is not ours.
This desire to help, to alleviate someone’s pain can also get you into a whole lot of trouble. Sometimes family/friends turn against you because they don’t like what you have to say, don’t want to hear the truth even if they have asked for the advice.
A wise friend once said this to me, after such a fiasco. “It is not your soap opera. You play the lead in your own soap opera. Let others play the lead in theirs. Just listen.”
So, these days, I just listen. When asked what do I think they should do? I say, “What do you want to do?” I simply guide them back to their own solutions. Because deep inside, we all know what we should do, don’t we? And ultimately, we need to step back into playing the lead roles in our own soap operas:)
I leave you with one of my acrylic paintings entitled “Coffee Sipping Porch”. But then, all porches are for sipping coffee, aren’t they? Usually, it’s on my porch, while sipping coffee, I play the role of therapist:)