I keep coming back to this topic!!!!!!!!!!!! And I finally have come to this important defining line (for me at least). Previous blog entries can be found in the archives (right of the blog sheet by month and year).
Background: Almost everybody wants to help a fellow human being when they need help whether it is concerning money, addiction, health issues or just general life situations. A LOT OF TIMES we wind up frustrated and disappointed that 1. We are unable to help them (for whatever reason). 2. We think we know what help they need and alas it isn’t what the person believes is the correct plan for them. SO WHEN DO WE KNOW TO GIVE UP AND LEAVE THE SITUATION?
I know that in some cases I’ve invested months and even years in trying to “help” somebody with problems that they have. They would make “appointments” and come by and talk for hours asking my opinions and suggestions for lines of action. And then on the next visit we would go through the approximately the same issues and suggestions and opinions and NOTHING would CHANGE!!!!!! NOT ONLY WHAT I SUGGESTED HADN’T TAKEN PLACE OR EVEN BEEN TRIED AND NO NEW IDEAS HAD BEEN CREATED BY THE OTHER PERSON……….SO SAME OLD SAME OLD. Finally I learned that all was a waste of their time and mine. THEY were coming by wanting me to confirm that what they were doing was exactly what they were supposed to be doing.
So I stopped the visits and wished them the best and hoped that they would find exactly what they wanted…..sincerely said and meant!
BUT THE PROCESS WAS SOMETIMES YEARS IN LENGTH AND WITH NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT ALL! IT WAS GETTING ME DOWN AND SO SOMETHING HAD TO CHANGE!!!
RECENTLY I HAD A GREAT INSIGHT AND NOW I KNOW ALMOST FROM THE BEGINNING WHEN MY HELP IS NOT GOING TO BE OF ANY GOOD:
1. NOW WHEN SOMEONE COMES TO ME TO “LET ME KNOW THEY NEED HELP” I LISTEN TO THE COMPLETE SITUATION AND MAKE SOME SUGGESTIONS AND EVEN ENLIST THE HELP OF FRIENDS that might have more expertise than I do. I let the individual go out and “get to work”…………..IF nothing happens after all of the work and suggestions have not HELPED……..
2. I Let it go! Yep, sounds hard and maybe cruel and you might feel like a failure and a heel……………but BLESS THEM AND LET THEM GO! AND WHY?
A. YOU CAN NOT CHANGE PEOPLE…………….NOR SHOULD YOU.
B. PEOPLE MUST WANT TO CHANGE AND THEIR LIVES WON’T CHANGE UNTIL THEY MAKE THEIR OWN DECISION TO CHANGE…….THEN MAYBE YOUR SUPPORT WILL HELP……………BUT CERTAINLY NOT BEFORE.
C. YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYBODY BUT YOURSELF. EACH person has the responsibility for themselves…………..it is THEIR life………….good, bad or indifferent! They know the lessons they need to learn in this lifetime…………and they have the opportunities AND the resources to make choices………..their choices about their lives..so let them choose and LIVE WITH THOSE CHOICES!!!
LET THEM LIVE THEIR LIVES! AND YOU GO AHEAD AND LIVE YOURS!