(Expert Advice from Glenn Hunter): When Dear Friends Catch Up
I recently caught up with a dear friend. Charlotte Hunt, author of “Dream Madly, Pursue Wildly, Trust Completely”, encourages people through her books, speaking engagements, and counseling sessions to make life-affirming changes. Although I am not a women, nor have a particularly troubled past, she is outstanding company for coffee or a call. She is wise, compassionate and teachable.
As a blogger who encourages people of all stripes to move beyond their shortcomings by grabbing someone else and lifting them, I need wisdom, compassion and the capacity to learn in order to serve my audience. Charlotte helps people separate from their emotional issues so that they can move forward and contribute their gifts in their individual environments. We help each other because we fundamentally use similar materials to construct strong foundations for our audiences. But upon further review concerning how we mutually challenge and inspire each other, four pillars emerged as a better structure to capture why our connections are so rewarding.
1. Listen – When people have a problem to solve they often have a good idea of the answer. What they really seek is affirmation, and maybe some insight, validating their belief. By listening, a wise counselor empowers them to process their challenge and use any advice to help take ownership of the eventual solution. We give each other advice knowing that the truth is inside us, but listening illuminates that path for it to come out of the other.
2. Believe – Corporate wisdom says “Don’t believe your own BS”. A wiser tact is not to spread BS to begin with. Engage the reality of the situation when investigating solutions. Believe the truth as you understand it, not according to what you were told to believe. A tower built on a bad foundation will eventually fall. Do you really want to be on top of the tower that was built on a foundation of lies?
3. Embrace – Hold close people who nourish your mind, body and soul. Read their ideas if they are physically elsewhere. Request their advice if they are close. Share secrets if they are intimate. An embrace is not grabbing and squeezing the life out of someone. It does mean to hold them for a shared moment, release and repeat when necessary.
4. Repeat – Why do something well and then stop? Success should be performed over and over again, especially when contributing to others. Listen closely to people that you want to help (and may in turn help you) to understand their needs. Engage the reality of the situation. Hold truth closely. Let your wisdom be available to the next person in need.
I continuously encourage people to connect with people who have escaped their orbit. Old friends, family members, former colleagues, friendly rivals are primary targets to place on the four pillars. If the separation was bitter, then openly reach out only to the point that is healthy, or not at all. Wounds that have healed do not have to be re-opened. But, if the separation was simply wandering apart, expect a warm reception when you wander back. Don’t expect the good ole days because the present is no longer the good ole days. The objective is reconnecting with life-affirming energy from a trustworthy source.
Life happens. Priorities change. Wounds leave scars. But, genuine hugs do not go cold. Happy memories do not have a shelf life. My friend Charlotte advocates “Dream Madly, Pursue Wildly, Trust Completely”. This approach absolutely works in emancipating the human spirit from several types of bondage. But my response to her is for individuals to establish their passion as their guiding star. Stand on the four pillars to get a better perspective. Then, manage the details during the journey. And, uplift another along the way. A pleasant surprise is typically in store.
By Glenn Hunter (The Voice)