How to come from a place of abundance when you have nothing

Article originally Published for : Alberta Street News

“The true measure of a man is how much he would be worth if he lost everything.” – Unknown.

Your worth and value doesn’t come from the car you drive, what you have or where you live. It is inherent, intrinsic, and cannot be taken from you. It is reflected in your character, the way you live your life and the way you treat other people.

I have seen numerous YouTube videos lately where events are staged to look like someone is out on the street and down on their luck or having a hard time where they really need some help out in public. I have been highly disappointed in the vast majority who just walk on by, ignoring them, even when the person has been face down in the middle of a busy sidewalk.

Many of the bystanders who actually do come to the aid of that person have been homeless themselves and have the very least to give (monetarily). What does this say about our society?

Have many of us become so jaded that we can’t see what is right in front of us; our fellow human beings in need of help. Is it that we don’t care? Don’t feel one person can make a difference? I don’t really have an answer for that.

What I do know is that we are all connected. Treating someone as if they do not matter is unacceptable. Everyone matters. We need to stop judging on appearance. Look past the surface; clothing, hair, skin color, or whatever it is that is keeping us back from looking into that persons eyes and seeing another living breathing human being.

This is a two-sided coin.

 

On the other side of that, how do you deal with people when you don’t have a place to call home or sometimes even food to eat? Feeling badly or ashamed of your situation or worse about yourself, won’t help things. Our current situations in life are always an echo. They are a combination manifestation of our past thoughts, actions and happenstance. Dwelling on it will likely push that echo on to the future and get you more of the same.

Breaking free of this cycle isn’t an easy thing to do, for any of us, and being in a bad situation currently does make it harder so please don’t think I am discounting that.

Acceptance of where you are now is the first step because the fact is – you are where you are regardless of what you think or how you feel about it. Take a good look around you. Life is all about perspective no matter what you do or don’t have. Rich or poor. They both are a state of mind that projects outwardly and into your reality. Take stock of what you do have that is good in your life. Friends, Family, a pet, a nice place to rest, a sunny day, anything that brings even the slightest joy to your life. Focus on that which makes you feel good or even a little bit better. Do your best to ignore the rest. The truth is that when you live in gratitude for what you already have, however perceived little it may be, more will come into your life to be grateful for.

All of us are infinitely valuable, more so than we realize. We all individually have the power to touch someone’s life. Make sure you do so in a positive way, even if it’s just with a smile or kind word.

 

 

 

The Art of Non-Attachment

We all want the very best for friends and family. Many of us have a tendency to take on other people’s problems as if they were our own. We do it out of love, but ironically it can often lead to codependency in relationships as well as self-neglect. I speak from experience in this. My natural inclination in life has been to try and “save” the world, especially those closest to me. Unfortunately, I have found it just doesn’t work that way.

 

It is difficult to watch someone make, what you believe to be, bad decision after bad decision leading his or her life in a negative or non-progressing direction. We want to intervene, even at times – to grab them and shake them and say “what are you doing!?” and literally shove them in a better direction.

 

What we have to realize is that as much as we love or care about them that no one can make decisions for them. The only person who can rescue them… is them.

 

Why do I call Non-Attachment an art?

 

I call it an art because as easy as the concept is, it takes years, sometimes lifetimes to master.

 

It is easy to be jokingly callous and step back saying “Not my circus, not my monkeys”. But it’s heart wrenching and unnerving at times to pull back, relinquish the illusion of control, and simply allow that person and situation to be what it is and to work itself out.

Now in saying this I do not at all mean withdraw love or support.

A simple “I am still here and I love you.” Is one of the best statements of caring you can make to another person. There is no better gift than that of unconditional love. In that gift it allows the other person to know that it is ok to try – succeed or fail, you won’t think less of them and you will still be there.

 

This also allows you the mental and emotional space you need in order to take care of yourself. Getting lost in another person’s issues, regardless of love, is never healthy.

 

In order for anyone to reclaim their life and get it “Back on Track” that drive and power have to come from within. Owning responsibility for their decisions and their actions will lead them to a place of control and from that feeling of self empowerment comes both self esteem and the start of self love.

Written for: The Alberta Street News – Back on Track Column. Columnist: Sarah J. Barendse