I have a Polish proverb at my desk that says, “Every time you feel yourself being pulled into other people’s drama, repeat these words…NOT MY CIRCUS, NOT MY MONKEYS.” I look at it daily, sometimes several times a day, because it’s my nature to help. Here’s what I realized, you cannot help everybody, especially if you’re at a point where you are barely holding on yourself. If you’re barely holding onto the ledge, why are you going to take your hand off the ledge to reach out to help somebody else? Get yourself together first. There’s also the possibility the person put themselves in a precarious situation, maybe there’s a lesson they need to learn. Lessons are often repeated and come back in different ways. Maybe it’s something that they are a little birdie told them a long time ago and they just refuse to listen.
Maybe you’ve always jumped in to save somebody. I’m here to tell you…stop jumping to save people. Stop putting your “nice” all over everything. Some people are in the situation that they’re in because they put themselves there. Either they’ve allowed it, they didn’t listen to their little birdie the first, second, or third time, or sometimes things just happen. It could be one of those three things. Learn how to be supportive without putting on armor to take the battle and do battle for them. Some people need to do battle for themselves and learn their lesson. They’ve become so accustomed to us coming in and saving the day that they don’t know how to save themselves. You did not put them there. Refer them to resources, give sound counsel without throwing gasoline on the fire but don’t be the person who says, “I’m going to fix it”.
If you are on the other side of this, meaning you are the one who is going through a rough patch, you might think I’m being harsh. I lovingly say this with life witness, not eye witness knowledge, be thankful for every time somebody does not jump in to save you. The lessons you learned from having to deal with stuff yourself and not somebody coming in to save the day will stick with you. You will in turn be able to impart that life-witness wisdom to somebody else. The people who love you haven’t abandoned you during your struggle, they realize it’s nothing they can fix or control, and they are allowing you to go through the lesson so that you can grow and be better versions of yourself.