So 20-somethings, we imagine, if you’re human, that you’ve probably been in a situation (or are in one right now) where someone you cared about was struggling. Maybe you clearly saw how easy it would be for them NOT to struggle. Maybe you saw exactly what it would take for them to change and make their situation better, but you were powerless to make them see the light.
This happens a lot in life. Part of caring for other people — be they friends or family members or co-workers or a romantic partner — is having an outsider’s perspective on their struggles. And because we care for them, we feel called to help them. And more than that, we can get really frustrated by their inability to see the answer or to help themselves.
For those of you who might be nodding your heads along with us at this sentiment, we say this: It’s not your responsibility to “save” anyone.
Repeat that as many times as you need to.
You’re allowed to acknowledge and empathize with the struggle and strife and heartbreak of those who are stuck in negative energy, without being part of that energy yourself. Instead of feeling conflicted and angry and anxious over their current lot in life, which brings you right down with them in that energy, you can develop a sense of concern and compassion and deep-felt sympathy, which are positive feelings that won’t mire you down (right along with them).
Whatever the person you care about is experiencing is just a part of their journey in life. You might want to shake them awake and slap some sense in to them, but part of how people learn is being mired in struggle. Shaking them awake doesn’t necessarily do them any favors. It interrupts the process of learning. Their experience, however frustrating, might be what they need to find enlightenment.
So, live your life. Be yourself. Be kind and compassionate. And know that whatever other people are experiencing, good or bad, is what they are meant to be experiencing in this moment, and that it isn’t your job to alter their path. They have to find the path on their own.
How can you let go of that weight of responsibility today? How can you make peace with the journey of those you care for? Share your story on the blog!
Kristen & Rachel