Wow, there were many callers on the volunteer Help Line yesterday morning.
I felt sorry to miss some of you–I found I couldn’t track people who may have written me to say they would call even if I emailed back saying “great!”
I remember the first time I volunteered for the Help Line (it was called the Work Hotline back then).
I scheduled two hours that I knew I would be available, letting people know that I’d be free within that window one morning.
I was loading the washing machine with dirty clothes, in the middle of cleaning dishes from the night before, and waiting for water to boil for morning tea….when my skype rang.
Who could that be?
Oh! Someone is calling to do The Work!
I sat down on my couch, everything half done in my kitchen, and facilitated someone through the process, a little nervous, a little surprised, very honored.
I was amazed at the sweetness, the honesty, the sincerity.
I hung up with the sense of being so touched that a stranger would dial-in and expose their innermost worries, doubts and anger towards someone important in their life.
I got up and proceeded to carry on with my tasks, pushed down the lever on the electric kettle to re-boil the water for tea, when here came another incoming skype call.
Another dear inquirer, full of angst and concern, sharing their embarrassing thoughts.
Moved deeply again, my heart felt really big and full.
Then I got up to re-boil water for tea a third time….and now I really wanted tea and breakfast.
But you guessed it. Someone else called.
I facilitated one person after the other for the whole two hours. After it was over, more people still called even though my scheduled hours were complete. I worked past my planned time for awhile….and then turned off my computer.
Ever since I’ve been much more clear that the space scheduled for the Help Line when I volunteer my time is just one after the other, working with the next and then the next, and sometimes 5 or 8 people calling at once, and lots of messages to say for me to call back as soon as I can.
Today, I felt a little stressed when someone wrote that they felt disappointed at not being able to reach me.
If you’ve ever had this kind of feeling….
….you maybe worry that you’re disappointing someone, not doing a good enough or satisfying enough job for them….
….then this is a really, really good thought to question.
I need to help that person (and not disappoint them).
Is that true?
Yes! I really want only to be of service. I hate the thought that I’d frustrate someone even MORE than they already are, if they can’t reach me!
Is that absolutely true, that I need to help them–that it has to be me they reach? Is it really true that they’ll be MORE frustrated? Can I be sure of that?
How do you react when you think you shouldn’t disappoint, and you do? How do you react when you have a picture in your mind of what it would look like to serve, and it’s impossible to achieve that with everyone?
Tired. Anxious. Bending over backwards. Trying too hard.
Who would you be without the belief that you need to answer every call, please other people, help other people, be of service in a certain way?
Ha ha! Very relieved.
“I never have the sense that anything I haven’t done is undone. I see the things that don’t get done as things that need a different timing; I and the world are better off without them, for now. I have hundreds of emails waiting for me on my computer, some of them from people who are desperately asking for my response, but I never feel frustrated that I don’t have time to answer them. I do the best I can, and I’m clear that people don’t need me; since we all come from the same wisdom, they can give themselves what they need if I’m not available. What really matters is always available to everyone. Nothing comes ahead of its time, and nothing has ever happened that didn’t need to happen.” ~ Byron Katie in Question Your Thinking, Change The World
I turn the thought around: I don’t need to help that person (and it’s OK if I disappoint them), I need to help myself and not disappoint myself, they need to help me and not disappoint me (they do, even the ones who I don’t make contact with).
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