When a loved one is struggling, do you want to step in and help, give advice, or just fix it the problem to make it better for them? I haven’t always done the best job with boundaries around this issue. I have had to wrestle with my desires to jump in, take over, and ease the burden of those I care for. I don’t like to see people suffer. As an Empath I feel their pain. Sometimes I have been triggered because I have experienced the same problem. It is especially hard to observe your child or spouse going through a hard time. While our loved ones need our support and need to be safe, it is important not to take over the problem for them. By taking over our beloved’s issue or intervening by giving unsolicited advice, we rob them of learning the lesson they came here to learn, and the growth and expansion that comes with it.
When I was in my late 20’s I took a job brokering recycled materials. I had worked in waste management as an engineer, and this was an opportunity to be in sales. I thought it would be a good fit for me. I soon learned that the company was riddled with deceit, dishonesty to the clients, and verbal abuse of the employees that were in the support roles. It never felt good to be there. I experienced an undercurrent of worry and fear in my body and mind. I worked very hard to try to do what was asked of me, as this is how I am wired, but no matter how hard I tried, the reward was always more pressure and more duties. It was rare to hear a word of appreciation from the hierarchy. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was giving my power away to the bosses every day by not standing up for myself. When I finally spoke the truth to the clients in opposition to the lies, I was fired. I felt shame and shock in being terminated. My employers made up a convenient excuse for letting me go.
Soon after I boxed up my belongings, and was escorted out the door, I felt immense relief. I remember my mother calling me to say, “I’m so glad that job is done. Those people were abusing you!” It all became clear in that moment. My mother had been observing the abuse and misuse of power that I was going through. To her credit, she had not offered me advice for that entire year of my life. I am sure she had been praying for me, but by not stepping in to tell me what to do, she had allowed me this valuable experience of growth and awareness around my own personal power and boundary setting. I never forgot this work experience. It was the absolute worst job I ever had, but I learned much about myself. I learned how important boundary setting is, and having self-respect to stand in your truth. If ever step into a similar scenario again, I would immediately see the red flags, and take steps to protect myself. If I hadn’t been allowed to experience the pain, I can’t say I would have learned nearly as much.
Personal challenges are opportunities for growth. Whether the challenge is a disagreement with a dear friend, a difficult job, relocation, money struggles, addiction, or marital issues. There are so many growth opportunities to be had in a lifetime, and they appear in many life scenarios. Haven’t we all been through hard times and come out the other end stronger and with some new skills?
Trusting that our loved ones are in the right place at the right time learning the lessons that they came to learn is the real work. Handing it over to our higher power, and our loved ones guides and angels, can help us release our need to control. We aren’t in control of it anyway.
When I feel the weight of another’s burdens and I start to go into worry mode, I do the work to turn my worry over to a higher power. Worrying is a powerless, energy draining activity. When we pray, we ask for help. Taking action to hand it over puts us back in our power. I write my prayers and concerns on a piece of paper and I put them into a small container, a God Box. By doing this, I am handing it over to my guides and angels. I am acknowledging that there is a divine process at work. I am choosing trust. It is surprising to me how quickly the weight lifts off my heart each time I do this. It is also interesting to visit the ”box” occasionally. I can then reflect on the experience after it has past. There is always more awareness about the lessons in hindsight.
If you feel that you are plagued with worries, and you like the “God Box” idea, it is easy to make one from a small container with a lid. Decorating it with beads, feathers or whatever you choose raises its vibration. Keep it in a room that you frequent. It will help you remember to use it! You can name your container anything you want, God box, prayer box, angel box.
At other times, I have envisioned my worries floating up into the sky in a helium balloon, or I see myself handing my concerns, as if stones, to an angel to carry them away. I have spoken my prayers into a stone and placed it into the ocean. Any of these activities can help to let go of the burden that isn’t ours to hold. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do something. When you take action and work to release your control around the situation, it’s amazing how it releases. “Let go and let God” is what they say in Al-Anon. I love this saying.
Thank you for reading. I hope you find something you can take away from this writing. Honor your own bravery that you chose to be born into this tumultuous lifetime. There is so much to navigate. The more tools we have and use, the more peace we will find in this grand journey we call life. Keep taking impeccable care of yourself. I wish you blessings of peace and joy.