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
am. Somehow, my need to help others turned into unknowingly allowing them to remain stagnant.
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.