People want to be taken care of. They want to be serviced, attended to, want to have their hand held and their brow stroked. Most see the world through their needs, turning everything either a reflection of them or a blank spot, invisible because they don’t see how it is relevant to them.
They spend what they have — their money, their time and, most valuable of all, their focus & attention — on their own priorities. They have little left over, so when their is a sudden demand, like a health crisis, they feel their world crack.
I’m a good care giver. I know how to enter their world and make it better, helping them with reflections, focus and more. I have the discipline and compassion to help them move past their own nose and hear their own voice more clearly, have the skills to translate between the wider world and their inner world.
It has taken a lifetime of practice to build my kit of helping tools.
I learned to have a rich inner life very early, a place to get away from the service I had to give to my parents, service I gave them for nearly six decades. I had to move past my own needs & desires to gain context & discipline.
I learned to shape and develop that inner life by asking questions, questions that came from really engaging the stories of others. Where others lead lives of action & reaction, I lead a life of examination & contemplation
The fact that I have built my kit so well and so thoroughly is both what makes me compelling to other people and what sets me apart from other people.
I know how to listen deeply, know what kind of questions and techniques can cut through the noise. I also know how to communicate that in a clear and witty way.
The way I got to that place, though, is very incomprehensible and very distant from their experience in the world. They see the insight and the strength, but don’t see the messy challenge that drove me into that practice.
I made many choices that they would never, ever consider making, choices that they would fear making, so to understand them they would have to get out of their own mindset and glimpse into mine. That’s a lot of work that they have neither the time, energy, skills or incentive to do.
People want to be taken care of, want to be entertained and helped. They see how I might be able to do that for them, see the results of the tools I bring to the table.
They see what they can see, what they want to see, what they are able to see. If they see me as valuable, then I am valuable. If that makes much of me invisible to them, then I am invisible. If that makes me challenging to them, then I am challenging.
The invisibility of the closet is a queer thing. Even when you have emerged from it, that invisibility lingers in the minds of observers who not only don’t quite understand what they are seeing, but who also have no time, energy or incentive to make the effort to see more clearly.
Expecting more than other people can give is a set up for disappointment. They give what they can and the best you can do is drink their milkshakes.
Needing more than you can find, on the other hand, is a set up for loneliness and isolation.
Who can you expect to get the depth of guru? Good question.