When I started to Atelier Favela back in Brazil, and also with the new start in Nicaragua, I really had the illusion that I went there to bring something, to help the kids and local youth in need. Something I didn't realized was how much I was actually helping myself. Giving hands and feeds to something how I could manifest in this world. Fulfilling my needs to help others.
- it's not that easy to really help someone.
I perceived it with the volunteers that became part of the Atelier Favela family. One by one they are wonderful people, with great intentions. But often I felt more concernt about them, then our students. People that travel the planet with a mindset to help in other parts in the world, can be in need of help too. Often they run a way from a life back home, in which they felt stuck, or running after beautiful dream how fulfilling it would be to help people in need.
So what is it we should know about helping others? I had never questioned it, as I am a do'er. I just did.
But not long ago a book came in my hands. It's one about familly constellation, of Bert Hellinger, and the title says; "The Art of Helping". In his book you find a lot of knowledge he gathered over the years through working with the field of communal consciousness. Knowledge accesable for all of us, and inside all of us, as it's how we are connected to eachother and part of a bigger wholeness. The words in this book triggered me in finally questionning how does it work for me. My longing in wanting to help others. And how do you really do that, helping someone? These are questions I am still exploring, and I don't know if it's even important to find the answer. But I do really want to share some insights I found in this book;
It says that helping is a way of finding balance again, between giving and receiving. A person who can be dependent of the help of someone else, is someone who can grow. And at the same time you should know how to help someone else, in order to feel needed. In this way helping doesn't only serve the other person, but also yourself.
In some occasions it's not possible to restore the balance by giving something back. This is the case with the relationship between parents and children. Everything they gave us, is so big, we can only find the balance by forwarding this gift to our children when it's our turn. Giving and receiving in this case is something bigger, you become part of a continuous flow.
There are still some conditions to become part of this flow. You should first take, only then you will feel the strenght to give and help others. And there is the condition that the other person needs and wants what you have and can give.
You should understand that in helping people there are limits. You can only give what you have. And in return you can only expect that what you need and only take what you need. You can't expect someone to give you something he doesn't have.
You can help someone to survive, or you can help someone to grow.
A lot of people do not help because the other person needs their help, but because they can't cope with the destiny of this other person. If you do accept the support of this helper, you don't accept it because you need it, you accept it because you help the helper. And the roles turn around.
You shouldn't push the act of helping, and only support as far as the circumstances allow you to help. Helping becomes something contained, but with power.
You can't play the role of parent while helping someone, therefor you shouldn't accept any demands as a helper, like a child would do to his parrents.
You should see the person you want to help as part of a larger family, only then you can see what this person really needs, and how you can help.
And last but not least, you shouldn't have any judgements on how things should be. If you really want to help, you don't judge. You just love the person for who they are, as much as this can be different to who you are.
So love the people around you, and share the love you feel. But before that...