"The only thing I think we have to offer someone else is our own centredness, our own being all right, and knowing beyond a doubt that they're all right. If I know that about myself in a way that lets me know that about everyone, I speak with true authority, in the sense of knowing what is so. But if I don't have that experience of being all right, if I am afraid for you because I am afraid for me, all I have to offer you is my fear. "Maybe if you quit drinking..." or "Why don't you try such-and-such?" That all comes from my own fear.
I think it's disrespectful of someone else's life process to assume that they are inadequate to their experience. It would be good to follow that back and see how I am simply projecting my own fear of inadequacy onto them. I simply cannot know about someone else's life... The contribution I can make is to clean up what's mine... I can't remove the obstacles to your path, but I can avoid putting things in your way... I this way to do I most deeply vow to train myself."
Cheri Huber, Good Life: A Zen precepts retreat