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xocrystalnicole / Love Lessons  / Enabling Doesn’t Equal Love

Enabling Doesn’t Equal Love

I’m an enabler. And, it’s not something I’ve become intentionally, but somewhere along the lines, enabling has become part of who I amSomehow, my need to help others turned into unknowingly allowing them to remain stagnant.

 

Unchanging.

 

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a fixer. Whether we were friends, dating, in a relationship, whatever, I wanted to help in any way that I could. Although my intentions were always good, my actions were not.

 

In some situations, I felt led to help; in others, I did so out of concern and obligation. Not obligation in the sense that it was something they required, but it was something I felt I had to take responsibility for. I thought I had to intervene and make their problems my problems when that was never my job.

 

Recently, it dawned on me that I was interrupting what needed to happen in their lives. They were missing out on lessons because I was always there, stepping in before they fell too deep.

 

I didn’t realize that by always helping, I was stunting their growth. I was preventing them from learning things on their own. I was stopping them from figuring out how to handle the consequences of their bad choices.

 

We are placed in situations so that we learn something from them. In everything we experience, there’s a lesson. However, by always being there, always fixing the problem, I was creating even more of a problem. The only lesson they learned was that when something went wrong, I’d be there to fix it, somehow.

 

Though not intentional, I was taking away the things they needed to become the best version of who they are. When we enable our friends and loved ones, we cause more damage than we think. As difficult as it may be, sometimes we have to stand on the sideline while they fall and watch as they rebuild themselves.

 

It is not our job to always come to their rescue. If we do, they don’t learn from their mistakes. And, where lessons are not learned, growth does not happen.

Comments

  • Sheena Steward

    I know this all too well. You don’t mean any harm. It’s actually done out of love. I had to learn the hard way about not trying to fix others.

  • Marliceia

    I swear you are my spirit animal. I too ama fixer and have found that when you give so much of yourself it is easy to become depleted. I love this post.

  • Wallechia

    I can certainly relate. I identified that this was a problem. Now, I’m dealing with the guilt that I have from not fixing or offering to fix. The struggle is real but so far so good. I’ve had to remind myself that some people just want to vent, and if they need my help they will ask. And at that time, I can determine whether or not I can help.

  • Stacie

    It’s true that you have to let people figure out life for themselves and not always come to their rescue. It’s hard to see them fall sometimes but we have to do it.

  • Mimi Green

    I totally agree, I don’t believe in enabling folks. It doesn’t get them anywhere. I learned that lesson at 20.

  • Kita

    I was a fixer for a long time until I realized I wasn’t fixing my own life. It’s great to help but I truly believe you need to keep your well full for yourself.

  • Felecia Monique

    This is so hard for me. I think at times I want others to have that same faith in me as I do in them so I put forth extra effort. This post gave me a lot to think about.

  • Joanna

    This is so important. Sometimes you help people so much they can’t learn things on their own. They become dependent on you. I felt I needed my ex for every decision before and when I started doing things on my own OMG. I felt so free. Great post.

  • Kiwi

    I think at one point I was a fixer too. Always trying to get others together or heal them and forgetting myself. You have to align and strengthen yourself before you can even guide others.

  • Kasi

    This was so well-written and so true! I can relate!

  • Tiffany H.

    I think its important to allow others to help themselves, like you mentioned that are missing out on certain lessons. In addition I believe over extended yourself can cause you problems as well. Glad you are learning to let go

  • Jamila

    I can totally relate. I always want to help people, but I always have someone in my corner to help me before things get too “real” and I understand the damage that it’s doing.

  • Ronni

    Great replys, I will keep tuning in may need your advice myself 1 day

  • Bree

    This is so true. Sometimes we think that we’re helping but we’re stunting their growth. Sometime we have to let go and let people learn.

  • Shira

    You’re self awareness is refreshing. Thank you for this.

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