Leading isn’t Helping, Love isn’t Fixing
“Please, don’t try to fix me. I am not broken. I have not asked for your solutions.”
The title for an excerpt that connected …and a paragraph became a blog post. You see I had given up trying to explain this, now maybe I can. .I see this at work, I see this at home…the way people love, the way people lead, the way they teach….it isn’t loving or gentle. It isn’t even about the other person. It is about them, how they are feeling and about us sustaining that image of themselves.
Stop fixing me, start loving me. Stop helping me, start believing that I can help myself!
Stop teaching me that I can’t and start teaching me that I can, and then start being there while I learn and make all mistakes you can see coming and are trying to keep me from. Be the port in the storm, not the hero who keeps my life from me! See who I am! Know that I can!
Your worry and help and advice isn’t love, it is suffocation. When you try and fix me or rescue me you you tell me that I am less than, that I am unworthy and useless. You teach me there is something wrong with me and so the feelings of shame and not being enough to even exist, bubble up and strengthen. And here I sit, not even seeing that I don’t believe I have a right to be alive, because I know nothing, because I am broken and stupid and don’t add value.
Only it isn’t about me, it is and always was about you. It is and was about making you feel better and about me matching your image of who I should be ( so you wouldn’t have to feel worry and so that you could feel good about yourself). I did it So you wouldn’t leave, so I wouldn’t be alone (which of course I can not be as I am incompetent and unworthy and can’t exist without you to fix me and save me, I have been taught this lesson well).
At work this violence plays out in exactly the same way, only we don’t use the word love, we call it leadership and we reward the people who do it. They are the experts, they are the heroes, the problem solvers. We never see the damage they do. We never see the teams who sink further into frustration and despair, loosing more of themselves, slipping even further into the belief that they aren’t worthy, that they are useless.
When you give me answers, you teach me that I am incapable of knowing and that what I know is wrong. You teach me that I am less than you and unworthy, you teach me that I am powerless. Every time you rush in to solve the problem you extinguish the light in those around you and every time it is about you, not them and definitely not me! It is about your fear of being incompetent, your fear of being unvalued and your fear of being insignificant. It is about your fear of not belonging, your fear of being fired. You bought this all at my expense, you took your worth from me and you continue to take it.
It is and never was about me!
And we buy this! Because it isn’t bullying, it is helping, it is leadership, it is love. We accept this because it isn’t violence, where are the harsh words? Where are the bruises, the blood? We accept it because we listen to the story it is all wrapped in…I love you! I care about my team, I am a compassionate leader, I am just trying to help!
At home I get swallowed up by your worry. I am made out to be the the one to blame. At work I just don’t exist, my thoughts are wrong, my ideas are meaningless because you have the only answer….until I can’t do anything…all I can do is follow your rules and hope that one day you will see me. All I can do is try prove that I am worthy, so you can see me. You hold my life with your worry, your love, your answers. You hold m life and I know you can’t see it, so I will never be safe!
What follows is the original extract from Jeff Foster
STOP TRYING TO FIX ME. LOVE ME INSTEAD.
Please, don’t try to fix me. I am not broken. I have not asked for your solutions.
When you try to fix me, you unintentionally activate deep feelings of unworthiness, shame and failure within me. I can’t help it. I feel like I have to change to please you, transform myself just to take away your anxiety, mend myself to end your resistance to the way I am. And I know I can’t do that, not on your urgent timeline anyway. You put me in an impossible bind. I feel so powerless.
I know your intentions are loving! I know you really want to help. You want to serve. You want to take away people’s pain when you see it. You want to uplift, awaken, caretake, educate, inspire. You truly believe that you are a positive, compassionate, unselfish, nice, good, kind, pure, spiritual person.
But I want you to know, honestly, friend, I feel like a steaming pile of shit when you try to ‘love’ me in this old way. It doesn’t feel loving to me at all. Quite the opposite. It feels like you’re trying to relieve your own tension by controlling me. Under the guise of you being ‘kind’ and ‘helpful’ and ‘spiritual’, I feel suffocated, smothered, rejected, shamed, and completely unloved. I feel abandoned in your love! Do you get that? I feel like you don’t actually care about ME, even though on the surface it sure looks like you care! But deep down it feels like you are holding an image of how I should be. Your image. Not mine!
It looks like your love but it feels like your violence. Do you understand?
Yet as soon as you stop trying to ‘help’ me, you are of the greatest help to me! I stop trying to change to please you! I feel safe, respected, seen, honored for what I am. I can fall back into my own power. I can trust myself again, the way you are trusting me. I can relax deeply.
Without your pressure, your demand for me to abandon myself and be different, healed, transformed, enlightened, awakened, mended, ‘better’, I can better see myself. I can discover my own inner resources. I can touch my own powerful presence. I feel safe enough to allow and express my true feelings, thoughts, desires, hold my own perceptions. I no longer feel smothered, a victim, a little child to your expert adult. The courageous adult in me rises. I breathe more deeply. I feel my feet on the ground. Loving attention drenches my experience, even the uncomfortable parts. My senses feel less dull. Healing energies emerge from deep within. I feel light, free, liberated from your fear. I feel respected, not shamed. Seen, not compared to an image.
You help me so much when you stop trying to help me, friend! I need my own answers, my own truth, not yours. I want a friend, present and real, not an expert or a savior.
And do you see, when you are trying to save me, you are actually abandoning yourself? You are running from your own discomfort, your own unlived potential, and focussing on mine? I become your ultimate distraction. I don’t want to be that for you anymore.
Let’s break this cycle together! Let’s stop trying to fix or save each other. Let’s love each other instead. Bow to each other. Bless each other. Hold each other. As we are. As we actually, actually, actually are.
Sourced from… WILD WOMAN SISTERHOOD
Embody your Wild Nature