I am writing to remind you of things you already know. If you are used to trying to meet someone else’s emotional needs or fix their problems or if you refuse to ask for help when you need it, it may be time to learn a new skill. These behaviors are exhausting and can breed resentment, and just because you are in the habit of doing things a certain way doesn’t mean that you cannot make a new choice. Serenity is the gift you give yourself when you stop playing God.
It is important to develop empathy and compassion, and thereby to be present to others in their suffering. Everyone needs emotional support and assistance, at times.
However, there is a difference between being present TO someone and taking responsibility FOR someone. Responsibility is appropriate in the realms of parenting a child and caring for an invalid. You dis-empower adults, however, when you try to manage their emotions or solve their problems for them. In effect, this codependent behavior steals their autonomy.
Character is built and confidence gained through learning to acknowledge, honor, and regulate your own emotions and through addressing issues when they arise in your life. This is true for you and for others, as well. Likewise, when you need help and ask for it, you experience what it is like to let go of pride and embody humility.
Trying to meet the needs of competent adults when they have not asked for help may seem like a kindness, but it says more about your own need to feel good about yourself than it does about authentic love.
And refusing to ask for help when you need it is 100% about your own pride and the false belief that it is better to be self-sufficient than to request assistance.
To get clear on what is called for in any given situation, you may ask yourself,
“What is mine to do?”
If a loved one is feeling sad, it is not your job to save them from their emotions and to “make” them happy. What is yours to do, then? The invitation before you is to listen to, affirm, and validate their feelings, providing emotional support.
If a loved one has a problem, it is not your job to solve it. What is yours to do, then? The invitation before you is to consider asking if there is a way you may be of service.
Conversely, if you need help, know that the narrative about you “being a burden” or “an imposition” is a reflection of your pride and your desire for control.
What is yours to do, then? The invitation before you is to ask for what you want, thereby giving another person the opportunity to be of service. That person has the agency to say “yes” or “no.” Letting them decide whether they want to help (rather than deciding for them by not asking in the first place) is a gesture of humility and an act of kindness.
Remember, this moment is an opportunity to connect to Love, and therefore, to live into the fullness of who you are.
As always, do what best awakens you to love,
Your Inner Wisdom
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