Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Enabler no more

Gentleman Jack's nickname for me is "Angel".

He says one of the reasons he's drawn to me is because of my strength, positive nature, forgiving and loving attitude towards all people.

Well, sometimes.... I don't feel like that person.

I have been told on more than one occasion that I was a healer in a past life. I do feel good when I can get "T" out of the way and let healing words come through me. My friends also call me for uplifting thoughts or perspective.

However on occasion, I just don't have it in me.

I try but I have moments where I'm focused more on my HUMANess instead of any sort of ANGELic nature.

Sometimes my weakness blocks all of my strength.

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Jack and I both have our low moments. As single parents, we each experience overwhelming times and feeling like you can't keep up. Usually when one of us is low, the other one steps up to help right the emotional ship. Well, with all of my overthinking last week, I wasn't able to help him emotionally.

During last week, I had the most interesting revelation. Though I continued to be supportive and loving in my words and actions...

I had no desire to fix it for him.

My natural tendency is to want to make it better. I remember when my ex-husband would have issues related to money, family, whatever, I would step up and take care of it for him. Then I would resent him for it later when my own needs weren't met.

But I do feel hurt when someone else hurts. I have always been an empathetic person. However, I think I've learned that being empathetic doesn't mean solving the problem for them.

What lesson does that offer the other person? And how much more exhausting is that for me?

Doesn't my wanting to fix it for him basically imply that I have little faith that he can do it himself? Wouldn't it be better for me, instead, to empower him, focus on his strength and remind him that he can do whatever he sets his mind to?

Still, when I see his struggle, when I feel that I could just do this tiny thing to help alleviate some of the stress in his life, even though it would cause me exponentially more stress, it hurts me. I want to help. I want to tell him, "Just allow me to take on that stress for you."

I have to remember that it is HIS LIFE. They are HIS CHOICES.

My choice is not to be an enabler.

As A Course in Miracles reminds me, I cannot teach behavior. I can only demonstrate.

And so, I must focus on my thoughts and my perspective and my stresses. I don't depend on him to fix the challenges in my life. I tend to lean on my faith for my peace of mind. I try to trust that things will work out as they've always done.

I know that he can do this too. I don't have anything any more "special" about me than he does. I don't know any particular trick to get life to work for me.

I just pray. A LOT.

He can do this too.

Maybe then he will become inspired to take on those challenges with a different attitude. Maybe then he can see that I'm no more of an "angel" than he is.

Maybe then he will see that he inspires me too.


When you are in alignment with who-you-really-are, you cannot help but uplift those with whom you come into contact. Your value to those around you hinges upon only one thing: your personal alignment with Source. And the only thing you have to give to another is an example of that alignment—which they may observe, then desire, and then work to achieve—but you cannot give it to them. Everyone is responsible for the thoughts they think and the things that they choose as their objects of attention.
~ Abraham-Hicks

8 comments:

  1. I am/was a fixer too! I would actually be attracted to broken people so that I could "fix" them! It just destroyed me!

    Now - I listen and I support and I encourage and sometimes just that is enough for him to be able to fix it on his own!

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  2. In the past, I've always depended on others to fix things for me. I am learning now how do this myself, and let me say, it feels wonderful. You're giving a great gift to Rascal. :)

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  3. Providing encouragement and support goes a long way. It's an amazing thing to watch how doing just that can empower a person. It's also a great feeling for both.

    Everyone wants to know they have someone in their corner but also that they can stand on their own.

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  4. Being a fixer-upper kind of person myself, I have a hard time getting it through my rather thick skull that "support you" does not equal "do for you". But I think you're on to something here. Trust in the other persons ability. Heck - trust in the other person period. I gotta to think on that. Hmmmm . . .

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  5. Its funny that sometimes you can help people more by not helping them. Sometimes all it takes is listening and being there. Of course doing this is a lot harder than knowing about it!

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  6. I don't think this has to do with being a "fixer-upper" or someone who likes to do the fixing. I think it's a bit more complex, on my planet, anyway.

    Those of us who parent (usually women, but not exclusively women) tend to raise our children with a combination of teaching/encouraging + actual fixing. In other words, we give them problem solving skills, but when they can't handle a tough situation, we (rightfully) come in and do what we can to "fix it." That's parenting, especially when they're little.

    Those of us raising kids tend to bring these tendencies into relationships as well - a combination of empathy/listening/encouraging/teaching - and when we care for someone - "fixing," if they can't do it themselves, and we can.

    That's different from perpetually stepping in and fixing for someone who is an adult (male or female), and simply needs to learn (and practice) "fixing" in areas of his own. It IS stressful to watch, and difficult.

    You're only enabling, in my opinion, when the other person comes to rely upon you doing the fixing, and doesn't show that they are trying to solve their own problems.

    We all have times when we need more than a shoulder and encouragement. We need tangible help. I don't call it "fixing." I call it HELPING.

    It's a matter of identifying the differences in these situations, which involves looking at the individuals and the context.

    Fascinating post, T. Very thoughtful.

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  7. Great post. My first post-divorce relationship was like this. I saw the universe through my girlfriend's eyes. I was drawn to her being so loving, joyful, present. And I NEEDED her to do that FOR ME!

    Ha. Silly me. Of course, I had to find those things within myself.

    I imagine all those things Rascal loves about you - strength, positive nature, forgiving and loving attitude towards all people - are things he'd ultimately do well to find in himself.

    As for your "weaknesses" - we are all human. That's the condition! It's not a weakness. It's life.

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  8. Oh my, this hit home with me a little more than I care to admit.

    I live better through denial, T! LOVE THAT.

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