The desire to help others is noble. It can also be a sneaky form of resistance that distracts you from doing the work you need to do to make progress toward your vision and goals.
When you try to help people who don’t ask for your help, can’t receive it, or didn’t really want it (even if they did ask for it), all you do is deplete your energy, leaving you with less for the people you can serve.
According to the Kabbalah teachings, one aspect of the attribute of Gevurah, restraint, is Netzach of Gevurah, the courage of restraint.
The attribute of Netzach speaks to courage or endurance. According to Rabbi Gabriel Goldfeder, Netzach always involves action or exertion for the sake of a greater vision.
Since Gevurah is about the strength of holding back, one way we can understand Netzach of Gevurah is as the courage in holding back.
Rabbi Goldfeder explains that
we may have to fight our natural desire to connect or help when doing so would interfere with the larger goal.
In some cases “the larger goal” might be a client’s goal (or a student/child). There are times when we serve our client best by not jumping in with the answer, so that they can come to it on their own.
And sometimes our natural desire to connect or help interferes with our larger goal. When we expend our energy helping others and leave nothing for ourselves.
The urge to help others can be a sneaky form of resistance, a way we chase being “busy” to avoid the work we need to do to serve our goals or even our real and committed clients.
Another way this shows up is when we expend effort and energy contributing in places where our contribution isn’t valued and/or isn’t regenerative — we aren’t receiving back energy at least equal to what we’ve given.
It might feel good in the moment when we believe we are helping others, but we must be protective of our energy and resources so we can help where we can make a difference.
Sometimes we may even know that interfering can sabotage others and ourselves. But knowing and acting on it are two different things. It takes courage to step back when we know it doesn’t serve us or others to offer our help.