To impose means to force to be accepted. When you impose your ideas, beliefs, or even experiences on someone else, you don’t give that person the opportunity to discover for themselves. Discovery is to conclude based on one’s own asking, seeking and knocking. It takes courage to allow someone to discover truth rather than impose what we believe to be true on them.
What’s the use in me opening the door when you already told me what’s on the other side?
I visited a friend recently in the hospital who just learned she may have cancer. My friend was in testing when I arrived to visit her, so I talked with her sister who had been there by her side since she had been admitted.
Immediately her sister began reciting her own experience with cancer; how she lost her husband of cancer fourteen years prior. She told me how she was preparing my friend for the inevitable. Inevitable?
Inevitable is defined as something that is unavoidable; certain to happen. How did she know what was inevitable for my friend?
Why does one’s experience have to be another’s reality?
It doesn’t! If we impose our experience on another, we don’t even give the power of Hope or Faith a chance to work in that person. Don’t tell me what you think is on the other side of my door, even if you have had a similar experience; allow me to make my own conclusions based on the information I receive. You don’t have to chew up my food for me. I might just decide I don’t want to chew it up and swallow it. I may decide to spit it out all together.
I have another dear friend who has been knocked down by cancer several times. She’s knocked back and is still standing; and still winning! She runs a successful coaching and training company. She collaborates with Hope and Faith every day. They discuss their options and proceed accordingly.
I encourage you to resist the urge to impose your ideas or experiences on anyone. Love them enough to allow them to discover their own, celebrate them if their experience turns out different than yours, and most importantly, be there for them regardless of the outcome.