5. Dec, 2018

Tough love...

I'm not one to put labels on people. I don't believe that every bit of bad behaviour equals a disorder and I don't think that patterns of behaviour necessarily indicate some sort of mental diagnosis. I do think that we need to recognise those patterns in other people and launch into acts of self care where it is necessary. 

We can't always change people's patterns. Not every wounded bird is going to be fixed and able to soar free again. It's admirable when we try to help though. 

Unfortunately I see far too often that the people who try to help develop patterns of their own that become self destructive. It's not that they take on the behaviours that they're trying to change but more that they get caught in this cycle of trying to assist where assistance isn't appreciated and paid for. 

We talk about energy exchanges for the work that we do and we're (most of us) at a point where we realise the value of our time and effort and are quite adamant that some sort of payment needs to be passed on, whether monetary or otherwise. What we seem to forget though is that life itself is an exchange of energy. 

I'm not advocating that we demand some sort of payment for every act of kindness but merely that we start to recognise when a person takes constantly and gives no joy in any form in return. Kindness doesn't work very well when it gets sucked into a black hole. That's the point where kindness becomes enabling. 

My message is this... give with your whole heart but take note of the changes that your giving creates in other people's lives. If your giving only enables further destruction then it's better directed elsewhere. It's called tough love and it's tougher on us than it is on the recipients. Without it though, there is nothing left to give those who will use what we give to pull themselves up and improve their own circumstances.