What I did not finish yesterday, because I got too wordy, is that Serenity is achieved via something the Buddhists refer to as detachment, but that implies an unhealthy lack of engagement in your surroundings. I have come to call this phenomenon compassionate disentanglement. You always maintain a caring attitude toward even those who would wrap you up in their melodramas. However, you maintain your own sacred space into which that melodrama cannot reach. This is not easy, as most of those who weave such melodramas are expert at wrapping others into their story.
One of the worst and most melodramatic is the victim, persecutor, rescuer triangle. This is a classic scenario and goes perfectly toward making to point of the Serenity prayer. The “victim” confides in you that he or she is in an abusive situation with another adult and is asking your advice, hoping you will help to find a way to rescue him/her. Many times the abuse is very real, and your heartstrings are twanging that this is simply not just. Most of all, if you are truly a spiritual being, your loving nature just can’t stand to see some one victimized in this way.
However, let me warn you. Should you come to the “rescue” and succeed in getting the abuser jailed or otherwise punished the “victim” will come to their rescue, and you will be the villain. Their storyline? “I didn’t mean for this to happen, I love “Henry”, I didn’t want him hurt.” And now you are the “bad guy”.
Remember the prayer, repeat it like a mantra. “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” You and the victim can go to the public library, not your home unless this is someone you already know. Look up help for victims of violence, explore the websites with them and be supportive, but don’t be their “savior”.
You can get them counsel with appropriate officials who can help and also council the “victim” about their role in the melodrama. You can be supportive of them in this venture, for this is where they will need courage, as it is theirs to change and get out of the melodrama. That must come from within them; it is not something you can give them. If the person you are assisting backs away and doesn’t want to use this kind of help, dismiss the entire scenario from your mind, as it was not yours to help. (And indeed, might have been a setup to rob you.)
Do not, I repeat, do not go after “Henry”!
Always, as one who serves Spirit, be ready to help another find help of the right sort, but refrain from thinking of yourself in any saviorist role. You can connect others to the help they need, you can serve as a listening ear, with a loving heart. But the minute you are expected to take any action for or against a third party; start looking for places for them to get the help they need. This will, indeed, take more courage than giving “Henry” a black eye, but this is very much a part of discerning the difference between an area where you can help, and an area where you cannot. Have the Wisdom to stay compassionately disentangled.
There is another factor here. If you find yourself surrounded by this sort of melodrama, what are you doing to invite it? And if you are inviting it, are you doing so with the ability to lend a compassionate ear, or are you becoming embroiled in the melodrama, and therefore have become part of the problem?
This is why the 12 steps caution to look for what Spirit wants of and for you, not for you to go minding the sacred space of another. Most of us have had some form of dysfunction in our home lives. The rare ones are those who have not. Look to the needs of cleaning your own nest before you attempt to help your neighbor clean hers or his. When you read Y’shua’s caution on this, you think in terms of judgment, as that is the context of the comment, but it is important to remember that there is another facet to that gem.
You are not able to help others if you are still crippled by what you are carrying in your heart. Here, again, is where the “searching inventory” is necessary, in examining yourself daily, you can discern more readily what you can and cannot change. You will find that in communicating daily with Spirit, you will find the courage to change those things you can, and compassionately disengage from the scenario where you would only add to the problem. Another safeguard is to keep, always, a back-up. Someone human to whom you can talk that can help you stay objective so that you can do the most good, with the least amount of trauma to yourself or others.