There’s enabling that empowers. And then there’s enabling that exhausts, depletes and frustrates.
To be the transformation, it takes a lot of focus. On you!
If your focus is on enabling someone else, you may well be disabling yourself. Sometimes in small ways but more likely ways that literally tear your butterfly wings right off your back.
There’s a dangerous line between rescuing and running into a house on fire. Over and over. The same flame, just a different day ablaze with your fears and hopes thatthis time theywill at last change and you won’t get burned. Meanwhile, your transformation keeps finding its way to the back burner. Their problems may have started a month or two decades ago. Maybe you’re trying to protect someone from a bad relationship; a warrant, bouncing a check or an active addiction that’s not slowing down.
But to be light enough to fly and go forward yourself, you need to let go. It’s not easy when it comes to wanting to protect the people you are hard wired to love – your children, your parents, your spouse, your siblings. You want to help friends out in a jam.
Let’s face it. Tough love is tough stuff.
The concept of enabling sounds straight forward enough - doing for others what they can and need to do for themselves. Trying to shield people from experiencing the full impact and consequences of their behavior. Perhaps feeling confident you will prove your love for them in the doing.
Meanwhile, your behavior lets you forget about keeping your attention on the one place where you do have some control. Your own precious life. Picking up what’s not yours feels far more familiar. Gulp! Their problem perpetuates and so does yours.
So, how can you keep the focus on yourself?
Here’s a tool to try. In your notebook, write down or draw your answers to these questions:
What’s something you want to create in your life for yourself over the next 6 months? What about over the next two years? The next 5? What is the energy you imagine feeling having reached these milestones?
Now make a second list of the person(s) you are currently enabling. Compare your two lists and ask yourself: Will continuing as I am with each relationship support my chances for arriving at my heart’s desire? Can you feel your dreams manifesting or being derailed?
Let go of handling others’ problems that you will never solve. This does not mean you have to always detach completely from them. To be supportive, start with yourself.
“God authors desires in your heart, then fulfills His Will by enabling you to realize those desires,” wrote Edwin Cole.
The hard thing to remember is we are not God. We’re lucky if we can make a dent in changing our own lives. It’s everybody’s full time job. That’s what living is.
And when we can start feeling fully alive again, God can fulfill our desires to empower ourselves and others with encouragement, sincere generosity, inspiration, and real love.
And isn’t that what it’s all about?
Here’s to Your Transformation.