The 2nd chapter is titled “Who’s Helping?”  Again, I found some very profound thoughts/lessons/reminders in this chapter.

As some one how is passionate about being of service, I am constantly volunteering in organizations.  However, being of service does not need a formal job or position.  I like the word “help”; it is broad and allows the opportunity to be of service even in the simple act of supporting someone who is going through a rough time.  Anytime we give something of ourselves we are being of service.  I guess I just never really thought of it that way until this week.

Currently, I know two people who are going through some major legal issues in a very public way.  One of them is James Arthur Ray recently arrested/charged with 3 counts of manslaughter when 3 of his seminar attendees (one of them being my friend Liz) passed away during his sweatlodge in October 2009.  The other person is Laura Silsby who is my husband’s previous employer; she was arrested  and charged with Kidnapping in Haiti when she was taking 30 “orphans” across the Haitian border to the Dominican Republic.  It has been an interesting time in our house watching these two cases progress, and in the case of James Arthur Ray, it has been heart breaking for many reason.

There are a couple of quotes in this chapter that really resonated with me regarding my feelings and my sense of service about these two cases:

“So often we deny ourselves and others the full resources of our being simply because we’re in the habit of defining ourselves narrowly and defensively to begin with.  Less flexible, less versatile, we inevitably end up being less helpful.”

“When our models of who we are fall away, we are free simply to meet and be together.  And when this sense of being encompasses all–one another, the park, the rain, everything–separateness dissolves and we are untied in compassion.”

There are alot of James Ray’s students who became angry and outraged by the deaths of our friends and by our perception of the way James handled the sweatlodge and what happened after the event.  Shortly after the event, the “warriors” (what James’ students called themselves) were split in 3 different camps.  Those who staunchly supported him.  Those who were adamantly against him.  And those  who walked both sides of the fences in the middle.  As for myself, I have visited all 3 of these camps; I now stand firmly in the middle.. a place of compassion, peace, understanding, love.

In regards to the first quote, I believe that the 2 camps that are on both extremes the James Ray issue do so in a defensive thought and action.  While standing in those two camps, we become less flexible.  It is not until we let go of our “models of who we are” that we can stand together and really HELP James (and everyone involved, including the families of he deceased).   For that matter, as long as we stand defensively, we can’t even help ourselves and heal.  When we realize that we are all connected and none of us are separate, then we allow love to flow and HELP and HEALING can truly begin.  The same can be said for Laura Silsby and her team of volunteers who wanted to help the Haitian children.

It is not up to us to stand in judgment and or defense.  It is not helpful.  If we truly want to HELP those affected by both of these situations, then we must let “the models of who we are fall away” and find ourselves free to meet in the middle.