“You don’t need to fix your friends or family. You don’t need to solve all the problems that confront you. If you can simply learn to not be controlled by fear — your own or that of others — you will be a non-anxious presence in the lives of others, and there is nothing they need more. So how do you do this? By confronting your own anxieties and fears head-on. An anxious person cannot be a non-anxious presence, obviously. The world is full of people wanting to solve all the problems of the world. But the world would profit much more if people would first confront their own anxieties and the things that cause them 1) to have to fill every silence with meaningless chatter, 2) to stay constantly busy, and 3) to do anything to avoid being still.” David K. Flowers
“He who attempts to act and do things for others or for the world without deepening his own self-understanding, freedom, integrity, and capacity to love, will not have anything to give to others. He will communicate to them nothing but the contagion of his own obsessions, his aggressivity, his ego-centered ambitions, his delusions about ends and means.” Thomas Merton
“Let him who would move the world, first move himself.” ~ Socrates
“First get rid of the log in your own eye;
then you will see well enough
to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”
Jesus in Matthew 7:5
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- It’s much easier to focus on “fixing” another person (a spouse, a child, a friend) than to look within. In many instances, Jesus wants us to leave the other person to him. Is there someone in your life right now that you’re trying to “fix?”
- The most effective way to help others is for us to bring a “non-anxious presence” (“our best selves”) into our relationships with them. Do you regularly have a non-anxious presence?
- Can you spend time before God in silence and stillness? Are you too busy to be without anxiety? How can you have a more “non-anxious presence?”
Abba, I know I need to slow down, be still, and be more quiet before you and others. Help me learn to rest in your love – so I can bring my very best self to others.
For More: Living Truthfully by David K. Flowers
Thanks for reading! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)