Before you read the title and assume I’m a cold-hearted bitch, hear me out.
I love people. I really do. That’s why I spent the first 15 years of my career in law enforcement. I enjoyed being there for others in their darkest of times, hopefully giving them some comfort when they needed it most.
But I also saw what happened when you made their landing too soft every time they fell. Many times, they never learned.
It was always the kid whose parents consistently bailed them out of jail that couldn’t keep their life straight on their own.
Or the person whose spouse always made excuses for their behavior, that would assault their partner yet again.
None of this is easy to witness and it’s only natural to want to defend or “fix” someone we love.
But that isn’t always the best route to take because some of our greatest strengths have been built in times of adversity.
If I hadn’t went through such a tumultuous marriage and divorce, for instance, I wouldn’t be the strong, independent person I am today.
If I hadn’t made some incredibly bad decisions when I drank alcohol, I also wouldn’t have taken the steps necessary to clean myself up and quit drinking every single day.
Letting loved ones go through this same process — of falling and picking themselves up — robs them of the ability to realize (and build) their own strength.
It keeps them from developing their own potential. From realizing the ways in which their lives need to change.
Does this mean that you should never step in to help? Absolutely not.
But it does mean realizing when they need to experience the consequences of their own actions…hopefully enticing them to make better decisions the next time around.