Remember, the lotus grows out of the mud. It doesn’t roll around in it…. That’s just crazy.
Sometimes it is our job to listen & provide a safe place for others to land. However, you will learn that is NOT always the case. We always want to believe the best. If someone asks for guidance or help, they must want change in their life, right? NOT ALWAYS.
Ever been approached by a person claiming to want guidance? Yet, later you find that you are number six on their rolodex of calls. Venting to everyone on their list about their being “victimized” is their drama. This is their ritual. You are not special. You are no hero. You are number six….
They want company in the mud. They want collaborators to help strengthen their grip on anger or a grudge? Or they are hell-bent on refusing to own their shit in their shitty mess & hope that you will roll around with in it with them? Or simply plug into them, filling their energy reserve? #EnergyVampires
As an intuitive, people find me. Sometimes randomly, they show up in grocery store checkout lines, in yoga class, as my waitress in a restaurant, a PTA meeting, or my favorite – trapped in an elevator. (This explains why I work from home.) The conversation starts something like this, “Do I know you?” “Have we met?” Or, “You seem so familiar?” It quickly moves to where they are stuck in their lives, letting go of the past, or what their future could hold. Funny how words from a stranger can bring peace, healing, or a revelation.
In the mix are those who intentional reach out through a friend or colleague for help. This is where I have more recently seen what I refer to as “the messy side of human nature.” You have likely had multiple friendships like the one I will describe. Many of you have people like this in your life now and do not recognize it.
Let me help you out…
- This person is exhausting. You feel physically drained after every conversation or interaction.
- They confuse you because what they say they want and they choices they make are not in alignment. The world they live in looks like “crazy-town.”
- Often it feels like a one-sided friendship. You don’t want to be a bad friend, so you keep taking their calls. You constantly support, encourage, and show up, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference.
- It is not a mutually beneficial relationship.
- They ask for your advice but never seem to make the course corrections you suggest.
- You lay awake at night worrying about them in a perpetual abusive relationship, negative work environment, or their repeated financial struggles.
HERE IS YOUR WAKEUP CALL.
As you lay awake worrying about them? Guess what? They are sleeping like a baby. Yes, A BABY!
Why?? It’s thanks to you and the other poor saps that have appeared throughout their life on a mission to be “good people.” You are unconsciously filling their energy reserve with your repeated and continuous flow of warm and fuzzy good mojo! You are the drug that keeps them from facing where they are and how THEY GOT THEMSELVES THERE. They feel a sense of permission to stay right where they are. And, they have the energetic resources (you) to keep things comfortable. Even familiar misery is more comfortable than the unknown when they can count on you to fuel them.
Neither of you are serving the highest good. This is NOT an exercise in “love” and no one here wins. Unless your friend “staying in an unfilled life,” thanks to you being the human backup generator is your intention? Or you need to be some fictional hero? You are not helping anyone. In fact, you are wasting your precious time AND THEIRS.
Yes. It does sound harsh. However, allowing yourself to be used and drained is the story you are writing. There is a difference between asking permission to vent and dishonestly asking for guidance with zero intention of taking head to it.
As the Universe drops these people in your path asking for your advice, consider exercising these muscles:
Show up in grace, offering grace, & handling yourself with grace. Calm and unreactive. Preface the conversation with, “Share *specifically where you need guidance. If you get off track, I will guide you back. I have 30 minutes. We want this to be productive, right?”
We are all in different levels of learning. You are not walking in their shoes so don’t kid yourself—-you cannot relate 100% because you are NOT them. Instead, be compassionate & kind in honor of THEIR EXPERIENCE. Do NOT add fuel to their fire.
Boundaries keep you from dying. Literally. Energetically. On a cellular level. They allow you to survive your mess & other’s messes. You role is not to FIX anything. That is THEIR job. In that moment, distance yourself from their experience. Be present but also be an observer. If they honestly want guidance? You are doing them a disservice rolling in the mud with them. How do you do this?…
- Redirect them to talk about what they did well in the experience?
- What patterns do they see?
- What they are learning?
- What can they be proud of from the other side of the experience looking back?
- Or what could they do differently next time?
If you exercise these muscles regularly, toxic people will get frustrated & stop showing up. They will dislike this clean, honest, loving side of you. They will stop trying to sneak into your bright, impenetrable, happy bubble. They will stop trying to suck your energy. They simply disappear. It’s lovely! And, those people who want to grow? They will find their way, thanks to THEIR OWN HARD WORK.
And you? You are simply a bright light showing up expecting nothing in return except mutual respect. After all, isn’t that what LOVE truly is?