For as long as I can remember, and long before I decided to start taking my certification classes to become a counselor, I have been the person whom my friends, family, coworkers sought out when they were in distress. When they wanted to let it all out, when they wanted advice, when they needed support, it was me that they came to.
I always loved being that person (who doesn't love to be needed?!) but often times in the past, I got too pulled into it. I felt so much for them that I began to take on whatever they were dealing with. Their stress, their worries, their bad situations, all implanted themselves in me. I so badly wanted to turn it around for them, for them to see the way. If only I could snap my fingers and it would all melt away for them. Why can’t they see it as clearly as I do? Why can’t they step into changing it?
This started to wear on me. I wanted so much to be there for them, but often times they never changed. They went back to the drugs, went back to their bad relationships, went back to jobs they hated, they didn’t change anything and then soon enough they would be calling me again.
Luckily, years ago after really letting a friend’s junk wear on me, I learned a big lesson - a lesson of which I constantly remind myself and others.
I am only responsible for my experience of life. I am not responsible for anyone else’s experience but my own.
As much love, listening, advice, guidance and encouragement that I give someone, they are ultimately responsible for their own transformation. They are responsible for their own letting go, for their own moving on. They are responsible for their own experience of life.
I can show them the way. I can guide them, but I cannot fix them. For someone to change, to heal, to move on, to transform, they must be fully open to it. They must want it. They must be ready to fix themselves. I don’t heal people. I can only encourage people to heal themselves.
This may sound a bit harsh, but it is the truth. As much as you try, as much love that you give, they still may not get it. They still may not see the way and you must be okay with that. You cannot allow yourself to be pulled into it, because then really you are no use to anyone, especially yourself. Stand in love. Give love. Listen through love, but remember…
You are not responsible for their experience of life. You are only responsible for your own. And if you're anything like myself, I am in need of constant transformation of my own!
“The most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend.”- Henry David Thoreau