In his book, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, Richard Bach said “You teach best what you most need to learn.”

John Cali

A couple weeks ago, after we published our weekly article, False Responsibility, I got a painful reminder of something I most needed to learn.

In that article I talked about a friend who was depressed by some family problems. The problems had nothing to do with her directly, except she allowed them to drag her down. I urged her not to shoulder the problems of others, not to accept “false responsibility,” even for family she loved.

Here’s part of Spirit’s message from that article:
“The only way you can help another is to keep yourself in a place where you’re focused on the solution. Then ideas will come to you. You will be adding positive energy to the situation and to the person with the problem.

“This is absolutely the only way you can truly help others. It may seem challenging at first to do this, but do it anyway. Look for the positives in the problem. Look, as you say, for ‘the silver lining.’ Realize the problem is an opportunity for the person to grow.

“You will begin to uplift the other person because you will have uplifted yourself first. You don’t solve problems at the same low vibrational level where they were created.

“Your true responsibility is to yourself first. Only then can you rid yourselves of that false sense of responsibility. And only then are you of any use to yourself or anyone else.”

My “painful reminder” started a few days before we published the False Responsibility article. I’d been talking with an old friend. We grew up together and have known each other all our lives. Both our families were Italian immigrants and lived next door to each other when they moved to the US. The two families were as close as any blood relatives could be.

My friend told me about a family situation that sounded like something out of an overly dramatic soap opera. It started subtly some years ago, but had recently spiraled down into a total breakdown of the family.

I just listened and offered what comfort I could. Which, in my view, wasn’t much. Then I put it out of my mind — or so I thought. But it was still lingering there.

The next few days I had a vague sense of uneasiness. I couldn’t concentrate on my work, or on anything else for that matter. I wasn’t sleeping well and was not my usual optimistic, happy self.

I couldn’t figure it out until I chatted with Spirit. Between him and my higher self, I realized I’d been preoccupied with all the sadness and heartbreak of our family friends. I had taken on my own false responsibility, and it was really messing up my life. Fortunately it lasted only a few days, but that was more than enough.

The lesson Spirit taught me was so simple and yet so powerful. He said whenever I was floundering around, as I had been, to simply ask myself “How would my higher self see this situation?”

If I’d asked that question when I was starting to feel the uneasiness I would have realized I was allowing myself to get dragged down by my family friends’ situation. I was focusing on their problems. That certainly was not what my higher self would do. Nor was it doing any of us any good at all.

I was doing everything “wrong,” and certainly not following Spirit’s advice in the article we’d just published. If I had followed that advice, none of this would have happened.

So I’ve made a new year’s resolution, something I almost never do. From now on I will do my best to see every experience, every person, and myself only with love and compassion — to see all that is as I believe God and my higher self would see it.

I wish you all, and all your loved ones, a most blessed, beautiful, and joyful new year in 2011!

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Spirit will return next week.

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