I recently watched the Lifetime biopic Whitney, about the life of one of my favorite entertainers of all time — Whitney Houston. It centered around the romantic relationship she had with her ex-husband Bobby Brown.
In one scene, Whitney announces to her family that she is getting married to Bobby and her family flips their collective lids! In the movie, her mother warns her that he will bring her down, but she defiantly stayed by his side. In the end, her mother was right and they eventually divorced. He seemed to love her, but the energy that he shared with Whitney did ultimately contribute to her fall from "grace" in the public eye, as her mother advised.
What is the difference between giving someone guidance and forcing your will on them? I think there can be a fine line.
On one hand, you can’t tell someone how to live her life. She is ultimately the person who will decide the direction it will take.
On the other hand, if you know something that another person doesn’t know, isn’t it irresponsible not to try to warn them?
Sometimes I feel that some segments of our culture have been on the decline because so many people are insistent on living a totally "free" life where they just go where the wind blows. They don’t want to hear the opinions of others because they find it too "oppressive." But how can you learn and grow in a productive way if you refuse to accept well-intentioned guidance from others? Values, mores and standards help keep us all level-headed.
I think that the difference between guidance and forcing your will on others is the source. If people trust you and value your opinion, your advice is more likely to be considered valuable guidance. If you are considered a "messy" and judgmental person who doesn’t practice what you preach, your opinion is more likely to be considered an oppression or intrusion — even if it does hold some value.
A Little Guidance on Accepting Guidance 🙂
Live your life the way that you want to live it AND also be open to positive guidance from others from time to time. An opinion from another person is not always meant to be judgment or oppression — sometimes it is a blessing. You never know if one small piece of advice from someone can save you from unnecessary, long-term stress and strife.
Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOUand an upcoming book of life advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me?