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Friendly Advice: Are You an Enabling Ocean or an Intimidating Mountain?

02/05/2015 10:53 am ET | Updated Apr 07, 2015
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Have you ever received advice from a friend and left feeling worse?

When seeking advice from a friend, you are either facing a mountain or an ocean. A mountain is grand, intimidating and prevents you from seeing beyond it. An ocean is beneath you and hides its depth, but enables you by allowing your eyes to extend through the vastness of its length. Friends can give advice by making themselves grander, better than you, leaving you feeling ashamed and inferior to their apparent moral highness. Alternatively, friends can give advice by not flaunting their depth and strength, and by enabling your soul's sight to extend along the vastness of their kindness and acceptance.

How can you provide an enabling ocean of support?
1. Oceans are horizontal not vertical.
Try to not assume any higher status when someone comes you at their highest vulnerability. Non-verbally display that you are equal to them in human worthiness, so that your human axis is horizontal and not vertical to theirs.

2. Oceans are deep, but don't flaunt it
You are obviously an amazing person, if you have already accepted to help someone in a time of need. This is not the time to flaunt your qualities and everything that is going right for you. Your depth will automatically become visible as you demonstrate tolerance and support.

3. Just because oceans appear flat, you cannot walk on them
Don't worry about people taking advantage of you. Remember people cannot walk on oceans even though they are flat. People will eventually get that you are assertive and respect the wisdom of your depth. They will not want to walk all over you, because they value your advice, and want to benefit from it in the future.

4. Oceans are typically quiet, but sometimes they make loud tides
Make sure that you also take care of yourself. You also need someone you trust to reveal any inner tensions. You need to take care of you, so you could better care for others.

5. Oceans are salty
Only a very small percentage of ocean water is salty, about 3.5%, but this composition is essential for marine life to survive. Similarly, you have to be assertive at all times. Boundaries should be clear to everyone who knows you.

Certainly, there are times when we need advice from someone who is vertical to us, who is a mountain in a particular field. For example, when seeking career, school, or professional advice. But everyone deserves to have someone who is not insurmountable to offer tolerance and support.