Sometimes all we can do to help other people is to continue to help ourselves. ~Lori Deschene
Does trying to solve someone else’s pain resonate with you?
Do you know someone such as your adult child, a sibling or your friend who doesn’t seem to love themselves? Have you tried to help them to no avail?
When you are in emotional pain, you withdraw, hibernate, pull back and exclude so that you can lick your wounds in private.
You become angry, resentful, blame your situation on everyone else, and find it impossible to look within because if you do, we may have to accept the fact, that you created our own pain.
You may be too consumed to want to concern themselves with anyone else. Sometimes isolating so the denial can continue may seem the easier path to take. Being the victim could feel like a comfortable role that you have adopted. Having to change requires facing your role in the situation.
As onlookers from the sidelines, you try everything you can to make it all better and fix the problem. You give money, a new car, a place to live, a hot meal, love, and affection. The feeling of guilt for what you believe to be your part in the pain contributes to your overdoing. Tears are shed. You may yell, beg, scold, and nag to no avail.
Suggestions are offered that are rejected. Sometimes, you listen to why the pain is your fault which makes you more upset. Family members point fingers blaming each other.
Everyone has a plan, except the person in pain. You disagree with each other’s solutions, as you are convinced your plan is better.
You make continual excuses for why your loved one in pain doesn’t attend family functions, why they are easily angered and why they seem to be constantly struggling.
Slowly the enabling, the constant worrying and the sadness takes its toll. Your hearts are still filled with love, but you realize that you are not going to fix your loved one’s pain.
You are exhausted.
It’s time to STOP.
You can accept that some people’s hearts beat to a different drummer, that they don’t think about life in the same way you do, and that you need to let go of your expectations.
It is time to say goodbye to the emotional pain that has gone on for years. You accept that you cannot make your loved one love themselves. Only they can do that.
We can love them, but they can’t really love us until they fix themselves.
When you’ve reached that point of no return, here are three ways to continue to love your loved one and still love yourself.
It is important to remember that you can motivate your loved one to change, but you cannot cure, fix or change someone else’s life unless they are ready to make that change. Accept them for who they are even if they have issues that they are unwilling to work on.
It is important to consider your own health and give yourself the respect that you deserve. You are not abandoning them, you are taking care of yourself. Hang on to the hope that when they are ready, they will come back to you.
Everyone that struggles in life has a family story that most likely contributed in some way to the problem. Make amends if you feel the need to, and then forgive yourself.
We all make mistakes, but it does not do any good to continue to relive our past transgressions. Today is a new day. You have a clean slate and you can now start again.
Exercise, meditate, write
Exercise in any way that works for you. For example try walking, yoga or tennis. Find something that will keep your body moving.
Take a moment to sit each day, and give your mind a rest. Your own feelings and intuition will be more clear, and it will help with anxiety, depression and inner peace.
Write often in a journal which will lead you to your inner thoughts. It helps you to think through and solve family issues as well as feel empowered and understand yourself and your situation.
We never want to give up on anyone. They need our love and support.
- Be the example to follow.
- Provide tools for change.
- Allow them to take responsibility for their own lives.
I’ve been in this situation. Each night when I would go to bed, I would say a little prayer for my loved one’s well-being and safety. Send positive wishes to your loved one every day. Don’t forget about hope.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha