Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Allowing Others to Find Their Way

We all have had our pasts, our baggage, history, etc. We’ve all had to deal with it, move beyond it, and play the deck regardless of what we were dealt. No one’s better or worse then anyone else - just a reality of what we have to and had to deal with, and the tools received to eventually live a fulfilling and happy life if we choose to.

Although realizing our past has made us who we are – strong, motivated, independent, trusting, driven, etc etc - Often we would never wish upon anyone some of the less then pleasant memories. And when we do meet someone who has gone through similar situations – we may for a fleeting second want to wish away all their pain. We know exactly how it feels, and the closer we are to this person, the more we care - sometimes too much. This is when the fine line of allowing someone else’s baggage become our own baggage is sometimes crossed.

Yes, it’s very human to ‘feel’ for someone going through a tough time, or the process of dealing with their pasts – but we can not take away their pain, we can not take on their past to become our issues, regardless of how close we are to them. In fact, the more this person is in your life (a best friend, a sibling,etc) the easier it is to allow their baggage to become our’s. But we need to allow them to deal with it and make their own discoveries rather then helping them ‘mask ‘ and hide the pain. By us getting upset and ‘feeling sorry’ for those we care about – we are allowing them to become a victim, and essentially enabling them to not move beyond what is holding them back.

We were all there once too, and know first hand how painful it was – but we can not be the protector for someone else. The more we protect and coddle someone, the more damage we are doing. Care, be a friend, but also educate – challenge them to discover where their ‘baggage’ comes from , to open up and talk to someone, to allow themselves to just deal with it – just like we all did – just like we all had people challenge and educate us.

This may come as a surprise to some because humans naturally seek comfort and solace in others – but realize you are doing them a huge favour for allowing them to deal with it. They may be angry with you for not ‘caring’ but eventually they will realize that you cared in the deepest way possible.

Those that have dealt with their pasts are the ones who will be comfortable in their own shoes – demons and all. Those that have dealt with it, will be the ones who will take on life’s bigger challenges. Allow those you care with deal with it, don’t let their baggage become yours, and be proud that you were part of the process of their newfound self while they go on to succeed with life's bigger challenges.

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