Last Weekend I was Behind Bars…

Yes it’s true, last weekend I was in prison, but I went there voluntarily! One of my goals for this year was to become a volunteer. I had no idea where this goal would take me and certainly I had no idea that it would land me in a prison, but I am not a person to shrink away from a challenge and I also believe that everything happens for a reason so I took a leap into the unknown! And I am so glad I did.

Not knowing what to expect I simply had it in my head that I would help in some way, but what actually happened took me a little by surprise. I learned a lot, I cried with these people, I re-enforced my ability to be non-judgemental and most importantly I now truly understand the meaning of when you let your guard down and allow people to see the real you that they will return the favour.

The time I spent with these people also re-enforced for me that EVERYBODY has the power within them to turn their lives around, when they make the decision to do so – non-dependant of the circumstances they are in.

I learned how important it is just to sit and listen. Sometimes people are not looking for anything other than a listening ear. They just want to be heard, not judged, not have advice thrown at them, just simply have someone to listen to them.

We all have such busy lives at the moment that sometimes we fail to listen to what other people have to say. One of my favourite quotes is, “Are you listening or are you waiting to talk?” I believe Oprah Winfrey said this, and last weekend I got the chance to practice my listening skill more than I ever have before and it felt GREAT. People can work through their own thoughts and problems sometimes simply by expressing them, and all it takes is a listening ear. When is the last time you did that for someone? Listen to the whole entire story, maybe there is more to it that you originally thought.

I learned that behind every action there is a reason. We all have things done to us that we don’t like. We all have people that annoy us or that do things that we don’t understand, but when is the last time we sat down with the person in question and talked to them in order to figure out why?

I learned that unexpected help is often the most appreciated. Unexpected help gives people hope, helps them to believe in themselves a little more, and gives them support (maybe support they never knew they had access to). Support can come in so many different formats – advice, listening, resources, people or simply a hug to know you are appreciated, wanted, loved or listened to. We don’t always take the time to notice the people who have the invisible outreached hand or hear the silent cry.

We all have the ability to help in some shape or form. It can start with the question “What can I do to help you?”. So simple, yet sometimes can be life-changing.

I know that my own life has changed as a result of meeting these people. They helped me to develop as a coach, as a person, as a listener. They helped me to see that that everyone has a past – secrets, regrets, things they would like to change, that everyone has challenges BUT everyone can change their lives, everyone has the ability to become a different person, and most importantly that everyone has resources available to them right now –TODAY! They may be internal or external resources – WHO KNOWS?, But they are there. The question is do we use them? Do we stand up and ask for help and accept it when it is given? And do we act on this help?

In the majority of cases, the answer to these questions is NO.

I learned that this is a mistake. There is always a resource available to us. We have the ability to choose the type of person we are, the characteristics we are known for, the results we generate and leave behind. We are all great people deep down capable of giving and receiving great love. We all have the ability to believe in ourselves, recognise our positive internal traits and qualities.

We all have the ability to help others which in turn will help us to help ourselves, to grow as a person and live a better life.

To your continued success,

Breda – helping you take your brain pain away.
p.s. I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments or questions.
Simply submit into the comment box below!

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR PUBLICATION OR WEB SITE? You are welcome to use this article anytime, just be sure to republish it intact and include the following author/copyright information and links:

© Copyright Breda Stackpool, 2010 – Breda Stackpool, founder of Perfect Plans For Life, believes everyone can have the Business and/or Lifestyle they want through effective planning, time management and follow through. She publishes her newsletters and articles to inspire people to make small changes in their life so they can dramatically change their results. This free information is available in her newsletters and E-book/10 week coaching course “Becoming Unstuck”.

 
 

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