Helping I really Helping?

 Helping I really Helping?

Helping people is my thing.  If you need someone to make you feel better about your self, someone in your corner cheering you on, someone pointing out the good in you and hushing you as you criticize yourself, I am your person.

I am the first to want to never cause someone hurt, to the point that I will sometimes bite my tongue rather than say truthful words that might cause a person pain .

I was thinking about this character trait of mine, and how most people think "helping others" is a great attribute. But for some, like me, it is a flaw. 

 You see there is helping others and then there is enabling.  Let's take a closer look at those words.

Helping as defined in the dictionary as "to make easier for someone to do something by offering one's services or resources."

Enabling as defined in the dictionary as "to make able; give power or authority, competence." In this definition it would be something like this: "This Diploma will enable you to get a job."

But there is another way to enable or be enabling. 

As you know, often my view on things is most easily describes from a mother's perspective. This time is no different. As I thought about how I "help" my friends and my family, these thoughts came to my mind.

I think back to when my children were little and learning to walk. 

I put on my Baby Shower registry a walker, I wanted a walker.

 (For the younger readers, this was a seat, that had a plastic tray that encircled your child, and on the bottom had several little wheels. These devices have since been declared unsafe as the child often got too close to stairs and with wheels would roll down the stairs and get hurt or worse) But for the sake of my explanation here, they were legal and available at every baby store and I wanted one for my soon to arrive baby. 

This walker would enable the baby to get from place to place in the house.

 Over time, the child grew and the walker was put away and I began holding their tiny little hands, helping as they struggled to lift each chubby foot and take steps. 

As the process goes, after a while, I stand, still holding on and in front of me a few feet is their Daddy. He is all smiles cheering the child on to take a step, "leave go of Mama and walk to Daddy!"

This process is done over and over again until one day the child walks. I let go and there they go, two wobbly steps and they are in Daddy's arms. He caught them this time before they fell. And before you know it they are running. They got it!

 But prior to that, the child took many falls, and most often had to be consoled. Mom and Dad are right there to console them, but they didn't always reach out quick enough to catch them. The child still feels love, as you console them.

Another example, teaching our kids to ride their bike. 

The training wheels enable them to ride freely, with a belief that they are balancing. Once the training wheels are off, there we are running beside them, holding on, telling them to pedal, pedal, pedal as we help them learn how to keep the bike up and moving.

 And then it comes time to give them that push and let go. We hope they will remember to keep pedaling and steer. We have ran along side yelling it to them enough they should know. But even with what we have taught them, they still get going too fast and fall.

With adults, be it your child, a family member, or a friend, if you are like me, you want to help them. Doesn't matter if it is a small task or a huge life event, you want to help them. 

But in some situations you might not realize you aren't being of help. You might find out you are actually perpetuating a bigger problem for the person you care so much about, you might be enabling them.

Helping is showing them the way. Giving guidance. Leading by example. 

But when if you're truly wishing to help them, once you have shown them the way, you must let go.

 You can't keep running along side them, you will exhaust yourself.

They know you are going to have to let go, it isn't like you just let go and watch them fall. 

All along you are saying "Keep pedaling", "Steer", "I am going to let go!' You are giving them every means to keep going, if they stop pedaling, they fall. If they don't steer, they hit the wall. 

But you need to breathe in and know you did your part. 

Even if they do fall, it isn't too late for them, you taught them how to pedal, they just need to get back up, adjust, remember what you taught them and try again. 

You cannot keep running up and grabbing the handlebars and telling them how to pedal. They know already. They might just need to fall a few times before they will remember the help you provided, but they have the knowledge of how you showed them to keep going.

As Parents or Friends, this is when you need to give it to God and let go. 

I am a "helper" or so I thought, but in thinking it over, I am actually an "enabler" and without even realizing, I've caused harm rather than good, thinking I was doing the right thing. If someone always carries you, you never learn to walk, and worse yet, you will become to weak to even try.

It doesn't mean you love your friend or your child less if you let go, it actually means you love them enough to be there to hold them as they cry or bandage the scraped knee, but you aren't there to catch them anymore, they need to learn to catch themselves, regroup and try again.

As you lean on God, you can help them by letting them know they can lean on God too. 

They know the lesson, they just need to apply the lesson. 

They can do it without you, they just need you to quit doing it for them.

Let is ok! If they fall, hold them and love them, but don't catch them, it is through the bruised knees and scrapped elbows we remember we have to keep pedaling.

Be Blessed,

The Happy Farmwife


Popular posts from this blog

Thinking out Loud