When Jane and Joan met there was an instant bonding because of their tremendous guilt. Jane couldn’t save her husband from his self-destruction while Joan couldn’t save her son from his.
No matter how hard they tried, no matter how many good ideas or money they gave, no matter how many sleepless nights and how much of their lives they sacrificed to focus on those men, no matter how they begged and pleaded, no matter how many resources and supporters they brought in, nothing helped in the end.
So now they were wallowing in guilt: if only they’d done more, given more, sacrificed more maybe it would have made the magical difference.
The huge cost of trying to save people from themselves.
- Jane lost 20 years of her life as someone’s slave while she hoped he’d finally straighten out. She endured harassment, negativity, control, bullying, abuse and domestic violence.
- Joan endured years of criticism, yelling, selfishness, arrogance and lack of caring. She lost her marriage and her other two children, now adults, always felt slighted and didn’t want to be with her.
- Both had lost the central focus of their lives and didn’t know how to create a new world that might be rich and full and joyous for the second half of their lives.
Of course we try to save people. When our kids are little we make them hold our hands crossing the street. But at some point they have to learn to cross it themselves. And some of them have to learn some lessons the hard way. We can’t rescue them from the consequences of their own bad choices.
You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.
Until people start taking consistent, determined action, all the help you throw at them will be rejected. Only after people show they can overcome hurtles and stay dedicated, can your help, resources and guidance be useful.
Guilt is motivation to do better.
But not necessarily to give more. Maybe it’s trying to get you to let go of rescuing an adult who eats your flesh and to start taking care of yourself. The question for both Jane and Joan is: what fills your spirit’s tank? And how will getting past the guilt help them create new worlds for the rest of their lives.
Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation. The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:
- Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
- Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.
Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.