Thursday, March 1, 2012

Without a Safety Net

No one wants to see anyone fall or fail. The very definition of family and friends involves supporting one another and helping each other get through the hard times. Yet, there are some times when the best thing we can do as a friend or family member is to remove the safety net of support and let someone fall.

When our help no longer helps, we are approaching that time. Your loved one could be dealing with addiction. They could be facing the consequences of some questionable decisions. They could just have a history of selfish behaviors that suck the life out of everyone around them.

We need to let our loved one face the consequences of their choices and behavior. When we play the role of the clean-up crew - mopping up messes and fixing what's broken - we remove the accountability from the person who's made the mess in the first place. We allow them to believe that their situation isn't as as bad as it really is. 

Removing support can, ironically, be the most supportive thing you can do. It allows the person to get a true, unvarnished look at themselves and their situation. However, removing support is not the same as removing love. When you love someone you want the best for them; you want to see them happy. Unfortunately, sometimes we need to let the other person go through the worst so they can get to the best.

At the same time you are removing support, you also want to be sure that you are seeking support - the support of family and friends who can be there for you during this difficult time. These are the people who will reaffirm your decision to love toughly when you have your doubts. They will be there with a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen. Having these people in your corner is essential.

Ultimately, we all have only one life to live and that is ours. We can't live for someone else, take their pain or right their wrongs. When you have done all you can do several times over, you have to let that person go. Hopefully, they will come back.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this post. Great point about No one wants to see any of your friends or family fail. Sometimes we need to let them see the realities of life and that there are failures. We need to let go of them so that they'll realize the value of life and be successful in the way that they wanted it to be. They need to be independent and do their own thing to achieve their goals and objectives in life. Check it has great posts on how to be successful and working on the life and career that you love.

Karyn L Beach said...

I think we also need to work on offering encouragement instead of 'I told you so' when someone fails. If we discourage failure, we also discourage success. In my opinion, I'd rather see someone fail than never try at all.