Awesome Dudette asks, “In the past few months I’ve become close with another mama who is going through one of the darkest times of her life – her husband left her, her sister committed suicide, she had a mini-breakdown, and now her husband has her daughters. It is a mother’s nightmare. She doesn’t have a huge support system. I really see a beautiful person in her even though her life circumstances are so terrible right now. I can also see many, MANY choices she has made that have led her to this point.
My struggle is to support and love her the best I can without becoming to entwined and depressed myself. The past few weeks have been rough and I am devoting a lot of time and energy to her. I want to do it, but I am feeling drained and depressed more than I would like. I’m trying to remember that it is her life and also that me being down won’t help the situation.
What are your thoughts on situations like this? I’ve heard a lot about cutting people out of your life who are negative influences, but this seems different. She *needs* love, support, and help… also, like I said, I just see such a beautiful spirit in her I really believe she is a good person with the ability to have an amazing life.
How can I struggle less with this and also do what is right?”
In the posts Helping Those Who Don’t Want to Be Helped and Dear LOA: How Can I Make My Miserable Friend Happy?, I explained that we don’t get to decide when or even if we can help another person and that we shouldn’t ever see helping others as an obligation. Let’s apply some of these concepts to this specific situation:
You may not be able to help her
First of all, consider the fact that you may not be able to make her feel better. This woman is grieving, which takes as long as it takes. No one gets to set the schedule for anyone else’s grief or recovery. She has lost her husband, her children and her sister. The world no longer makes sense to her. You’re right when you say that she’s going through a dark time. And while it’s natural for you to want to help her, the first thing you have to realize is that there’s the very real possibility that you won’t be able to.
This doesn’t mean that she may never feel better, it simply means that you have to give up the idea that it MUST come about because of something that YOU did.
What is your goal?
Ask yourself this: What is it that you’re actually hoping to accomplish? You’ve tied how you feel to a certain outcome and you’re doing your best to make that outcome happen. In this case, I’d say that your goal is for her to feel better. Only this is something that you absolutely can’t control (you can’t force her to feel better), and therefore, if you tie how YOU feel to how SHE feels, you’re always going to be losing a battle. That’s a bit like saying that you’ll be happy only if you win the lottery. Sure, you can buy a ticket, but you can’t really control if you’ll win or not. It makes very little sense to tie our happiness to something we can’t control, although, of course, we do it all the time.
This is why you feel so drained – you are trying to MAKE her feel better. You’re jumping through hoops and doing all you can, only she’s not smiling yet or even feeling any kind of relief (damn her!). You’re fighting a losing battle, one that you were never going to be able to win.
Only, it doesn’t have to be this way. You can choose to strive for a different goal.
Choose a goal that’s actually attainable
So, what could you choose as a goal instead? If it’s not up to you to make her feel better (you have no obligation here), if you may not even be able to help her, and if you have no control over whether or not she actually recovers, then what the heck could you strive for that would allow you to feel good?
Simply walking away is always an option, but that doesn’t feel good to you. So that’s not the best possible outcome here.
And while you love the idea of her feeling better, we’ve already established that you can’t control that, so that’s out.
The outcome you want to strive for lies somewhere between these two extremes.
The middle ground
You don’t want to walk away, but you don’t want her misery sucking the life out of you, either. It’s time to find a middle ground.
My advice here would be to simply be there for her, while maintaining your own vibration in as high a state as possible. Just spend time with her, shine your light on her. Let her be influenced by your energy. That’s really all you can do, but it’s more than enough. Here’s why:
- You’ve clearly set a strong intention to help others. As long as you don’t get in the way by trying to make the helping happen, the Law of Attraction will match you up with those who can be helped by you. This means, that if there’s any chance that your friend will benefit from your assistance, LOA will arrange the circumstances that can make that happen – IF you don’t go charging in there trying to run the show. In other words, the more you allow the natural flow and timing of things, the more likely it is that you will help her when she’s ready for it.
- As you know, you can’t be of help to anyone if your own vibration has tanked. The main reason this is happening is because you’ve tied how you feel to how she feels, as I’ve already explained. So, the best possible way for you to keep your vibration high, is to be content to simply be there for her, while feeling good. This is something you can control (you can control your own emotions, or you can choose not to be around her when you’re not feeling great), and so it’ll be easier for you to maintain your high vibration.
- Sooner or later she will have to react to your vibration. She will either raise hers up, or she’ll have to get away from you. The less you push, the more gentle this process is and the more likely it is that she’ll raise her vibration. Think of the last time you were pissed off and someone told you to cheer up. Didn’t you just want to smack them? If that same person had just continued to have a good time (instead of asking you to change your mood so they could feel better), you would’ve probably ended up calming down and then joining them at some point. But having a cheery person point out to you how NOT cheery you are in that moment, just makes you aware of your emotional state even more and then causes you to blame them for it. Don’t be that cheery, well meaning but supremely annoying person. Let her react to your vibration when she’s good and ready.
You don’t have to DO anything
You’ve been focusing WAY too much on action – what can you do cheer her up? Where can you take her? What can you say? How should you act? When in fact, there’s nothing you have to do, at all. Your friend will benefit more from you silently sitting next to her while maintaining a happy, shiny vibration, than from you twisting yourself into double knots to try and cheer her up.
If you relax and take the pressure off yourself and are just content to sit with her, you’ll be inspired to say the right thing at the right time. If you don’t feel inspired, then the time is not right and you don’t have to say anything. Even if she’s in pain. Even if she’s crying. In fact, especially then. When someone is in that much pain, there is literally nothing that anyone can SAY or DO that will make them feel better.
But, you can show her that she’s not alone. That someone cares. You can hug her and hold her and sit with her. And you can secretly hold your own vibration in a high and steady place.
Focus on Who She Really Is
The beautiful spirit you see in her is always there. That’s not the potential that she could someday live up to if only she got over her problems. That’s Who She Really Is. Right now. So focus all of your attention on that part of her. Know that this is who she is and that she doesn’t really need your help. She’s fine. She may not know this right now, but you can know it for her. She won’t be ok. She IS ok.
There’s nothing worse than when you’re hurting and having someone look at you as though you’re broken. There is no power in that. But when you’re hurting and someone believes in you and looks at you as though they know that you’re going to be fine and that you’re strong enough to make it, it gives you strength. When someone has faith in you, it’s easier to have faith in yourself.
So, that’s the gift you can give her. You can be there for her and shine your light on her and feel good while doing that. And that should be your goal – NOT how SHE feels. Let her find her way in her own time. That’s not up to you. Just be content to shine. It’s really all you can do, but again, it’s more than enough.
Time for you to share your thoughts! I look forward to your comments below! 🙂