I have written about this before, but it is oh so important. Positive change happens in relationship. When we serve, we receive something as well as give something. When people receive a service, they give something as well as receive something. So often the only ones who are perceived as giving are the helpers, and the ones perceived as receiving are the people in need of a particular service, albeit therapy, food, etc. However, the helping relationship is inherently one of mutuality, and we should embrace that. Jean Vanier, founder of the L’Arche communities, put it like this:
“I am struck by how sharing our weakness and difficulties is more nourishing to others than sharing our qualities and successes.”
Obviously, depending on the situation, there are appropriate boundaries that should be set in place. However, sharing authentic vulnerability in a mutual manner can truly impact the way we serve and the way we are served.