Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Helping others

I’m sure all of you have experienced situations when a good friend or close family member had to go through difficult situations resulting in over-indulgence of alcohol, drugs or any other addictive/destructive behaviour. My natural inclination is to want to help. I want to do the right thing to make sure the person can see how damaging the behaviour is and show them that there are many other options. I think specially women have the strong sense of wanting to assist - many times without success. We tend to help in wrong ways by providing ‘quick-fix’ aids because those make us feel as we are doing something concrete. Even though the efforts are appreciated and in some cases the people acknowledge their difficulties, the success rate remains low.
Only if the person shows true willingness to change something will actually really happen. It needs to come from deep within, it needs a lot of courage and strength. Drug addiction is a good example. Any attempts to assist with getting people of it, pay them a stay at the most expensive clinics etc. only bears positive results if the willingness to change comes from them.
As an outsider the biggest challenge is to accept when a person doesn’t want to get help and doesn’t want to do anything him-/herself. I find this the most painful experience of love – to let go; to let someone fall. I guess parents experience it from the first step they have to leave their child on their own and let it literally fall. I feel like wanting to ‘save’ the other person so badly that I might become preachy because I wish so strongly to do something about the situation -mostly without effect.
It doesn’t mean that there is nothing we can do. Offering help and affirming repeatedly and showing that we are available whenever needed makes sure that a door remains open – when many others have closed. However, to let go is true love. We cannot save someone else if he or she is not involved.
Only the scars experienced by oneself are the ones that will remind us how painful the path to healing was. We cannot go through the experience for others or take the pain away. But we can certainly assist each other to learn how to let go and be there for each other when needed.

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