At the shelter I see a lot of people come and go, through the doors quite often there are some people coming through who are distressed and in a hard place mentally. So today I had someone volunteer to do the dinner dishes. Initially I did not really interfere with how the guy was doing the dishes and just concentrated on the other things that I had to do, but after awhile I noticed that he was taking quite a long time to get through the dishes so I started to help him. While helping I started to make small chat and giving some tips on how to wash the dishes more effectively. Quickly I noticed that he was having some difficulty inside his head, very long pauses between movements, and very slow to respond to anything that I was saying. I accidentally bumped into his jeans with my foot and I apologized with a smile, but could notice that there was genuine anger and resentment on his face and in his voice. Around this point I notice when looking back how within me there arose a voice saying maybe you can help this person. Well not really that blatant but more like a experience of feeling sorry or sympathetic towards the being, where I just wanted to make a difference and share. So I kept talking here and there and asking questions, to no response. At one point out of seemingly nowhere he burst out that he had just talked to his father on the phone and that his father had not said very nice things to him. I told him that I also did not have a very easy childhood and he agreed that was what he was going through. I asked him how old he was and again silence, so I just kept helping him with the dishes since he did not seem to be very focused, giving him a tip on how to make sure the dish-washing machine was running at all times by using a tray first and then setting up another rack while it is washing, he said he is going to do the cutlery first, I told him ok he can do the cutlery but the trays are right there ready to go in, just put one in and then set up the cutlery. He refused and said no, and looked confused and anxious. I was not about to argue the point so I left him alone but noticed that he had started to take his gloves off, so I assumed that he had enough. Another co worker was talking to me through the window so I answered the question he asked and turned back to the being who was taking off the apron, I asked him if he was alright, and he burst out yelling, “STOP TALKING, YOU KEEP TALKING TO ME!”. I just said sorry and went back to washing the dishes, saying to him that I was just wondering what he was planning to do since I was looking to be finished around 6. My initial reaction was laughter at how he had reacted to a seemingly innocent question, then I started to get defensive in such a way like disbelief that someone would behave like that when I was just trying to be friendly and make conversation. After talking to a coworker that had overheard the yelling, I had said and made a statement that perhaps this wasn’t the place for him and that maybe he might need some psychiatric help. He agreed and informed me that some of these people just have some mixed up priorities and I found out that the being that was just helping me had bought a pair of $150 jeans with his welfare cheque. (So I see why he was upset before when I bumped him) What I have noticed about myself within this situation is that this system of wanting to help people really came to the surface here within a very abrupt and direct manifested result in consequence. I can see that learning to focus on my own process at this point is the best option for me to move effectively at this point, to understand that until I can effectively establish a stable starting point within myself it is better to not try and influence people. I realize that as I walk my process opportunities to share will arise and that it will be necessary for me to express myself in those moments, but at this point I am noticing a lot of uncertain starting points of when I am choosing to voice myself and that this should be clear within this experience as a great example of the consequence when I am unable to see that the moment is really only calling for silence. Learning to not say anything is sometimes what is really necessary at this stage instead of trying to play Mr. Fix It.
Ok I will continue with self forgiveness within this.