If I was a superhero I’d want to have one power – to take away the pain of others without placing it on myself. That’s the dream. Sometimes you see someone hurting, and all you want to do is help, but you don’t know how, or you can’t – or you fear that helping them will hinder you. The truth is sometimes it’s just not possible. What we must realise is that the control we have over another person’s life is minimal, if any at all. We can inspire them and guide them – but we will never control them.
So, we must control our own lives the best we can so that we can build a foundation for others to lean on and to look to in times of need.
One of the hardest things I believe, is to hold guilt, resentment and fear, and feel you have an inability to change that. Just because someone is down or upset or hurting, it does not mean that we are responsible, but often times we take the responsibility on ourselves because it makes us feel like ‘a good person’ or feel as though we have good intentions.
This is not a bad thing because it’s an incredibly hard thing to do, it takes a strong person – but it can also be incredibly detrimental to our own mental wellbeing. To grow we have to feel as though we are contributing something to others that is needed, but in tough mental predicaments sometimes the work we are doing for others is not seen for what it is, and we can begin to feel unappreciated, even if that is not the intention of the sufferer – their condition forces them to do this.
To grow we have to feel as though we are contributing something to others that is needed
When you have been working hard at something for so long (helping a sufferer) but they are unwilling to take control themselves, we need to take a step back and think.
What we are doing is running into a brick wall countless times, and seeing no change – our time, our effort, our energy – it becomes wasted. But hold on a second, before you view this as harsh. I’m not saying that we should not be there for others and support them to overcome their mental challenges – but we should only be their in a presence that aids them to support themselves. We have to bring them back to independence.
We can’t be doing things for them like fighting their battles and facing their demons – these have to be done alone. But, what we can do is be that supporter on the outside of the ring encouraging them to take action, to throw that first punch – we can be the one leading the way by taking charge of our own lives and letting them watch on and learn from our example of perseverance.
Please don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you have to feel someones pain in order to help them overcome it. We’ve all been there – seen our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and friends challenged; and for a second we place ourselves in their shoes to understand their thoughts – that is key! but only for a second or two.
Once we’ve considered their needs we must then provide an outsiders perspective of the situation – encourage positive behaviours and let them take charge. Affirm them when they do good and redirect them when they steer off path. That’s the best way you can help. Sometimes I Wish I Could Take Away Other People’s Pain – But I Shouldn’t.
~ A.M, 2018