Other People’s Stuff
From time to time someone will share with me something that is troubling them and I’ll take it on as if it were my own issue. Especially if I really care about the person their quandaries become my quandaries, their sorrow becomes my sorrow, their anger becomes my anger, their fear becomes my fear. It doesn’t need to be anything that has anything to do with me for this thing to happen in my brain when someone is suffering near me. I get all engaged in solving it for them or suffering with them or both.
The thing is, what I’ve seen by trying not to do that, bit by bit, one day at a time, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, is that getting into other people’s issues does not actually help them very much at all, and it hurts me a lot. Your basic lose/lose. Me No Likey.
My solutions for other folks are rarely the right ones, just like your solutions for me are probably going to not be quite right. If I’m in the muck, if I’m having a day, I know what I need to get out of it. The best thing someone I share my troubles with could do for me is to remind me of that, remind me this too shall pass, that I have a choice, that inspiration will come, that it’s ok to feel crummy — not try to usurp my power of self-healing or fix things on my behalf. Let me be. Love me through it. “Sascha what do you think you need to get through this and feel better?”
So I gotta do unto others. If someone is suffering near me and needs my help more than listening, they can ask for it, explicitly. If not I can listen, lovingly, and leave their issue with them, not take it into my brain and my life as my project.
I have plenty of my own projects to enjoy, or suffer through, as I choose. I’m gonna keep going.