Your shoulders can get awfully tired when you start taking responsibility for other people. If your friend is often unhappy, do you think it’s your job to cheer him or her up? Do you do things for people that they can do for themselves, like cleaning up after teenagers or the adults in your family? Do you volunteer even when you’re exhausted?
I am responsible for me and me alone. I am responsible for my thoughts, feelings, and actions. I am not responsible for fixing other people’s lives ~ no matter how much I love them.
The next time someone continues to moan about their problems to you, listen for a few minutes and then ask them gently – so what are you going to do about it?
They may not like it at first. It may be a shock to their system because you’ve always taken care of them, but do it.
You are on a journey, and so is the other person. You steal another person’s opportunity to grow when you remove the consequences from a situation. Part of becoming the best you can be is taking responsibility for yourself.
And besides, where will you find the time and energy to nurture yourself and your dreams while you’re fixing other people’s problems? Give your shoulders a break.
~ adapted from my first book Be Who You Are With Love: a spiritual journey