Why Aren’t You Supporting Me?
This topic has come up quite a bit, lately: Enabling.
First, let me define enabling:
Enabling: Providing the tools and resources allowing another to complete a desired task.
Inherently, enabling someone to do something that is in their best interest is a kind act! Yes! Enable your child, enable your friend and enable your spouse!
Now, this is where things get confusing: Where we draw the line.
The point of support ends just as soon as we begin contributing more than 50%, whether that is in the form of work or in financial support. In this microscopic grey area, resentment is born.
The second piece of the formula is this:
When you are a child, in order for you to grow into a healthy adult your parents must support you (or enable you) in these four areas: Provide you with a consistent, ample supply of…
1. Healthy food,
2. Physical shelter,
3. Emotional support, and
4. Access to education and growth experiences.
These are a child’s basic needs. Cell phones, ipads, toys, gifts, desserts, and vacations to theme parks ARE NOT. If you have those basic needs met, you will be fine. I promise.
For adults, assuming that you do not have a severe disability, you now become responsible for your own basic needs. Yes, YOU. Period.
Yes, I understand many couples “divide and conquer.” This is one major benefit of being in a partnership! However, at any point, both of you must be ready and able to resume responsibility for ALL of our own basic needs, if the needs arise.
The rest is cake. “Cake” being gifts, flowers, tickets to a ballgame, and diamond rings. Yes, I said diamond rings.
Where this gets fuzzy:
You have an adult child who is not yet financially independent. My response: Pending they do not have a severe disability, your adult child can do a lot more than you give them credit for. Give them the painfully challenging opportunity to show you just what they can do!
You were taught that if your spouse does not get you gifts, he or she must not love you! Not true. This is what television tells us- if someone loves you, they buy you things. This is a lie. If someone loves you, they show up, to the best of their ability. They say hi. They wish you well and support you in your passions and endeavors. They listen to you. They laugh with you. They walk with you through the less-than-comfortable times. Do they get you things? Not needed. They give you something more valuable: time, care and concern.
If you get someone gifts, over and over again, and they never get anything for you, they must not care about you. Again, not true. This is a good time to think about why you are getting THEM gifts? Is it out of the kindness of your heart- just to let them know you were thinking about them? Or is it a relationship contract? If you get them something, they will be your friend. No. You are about to be severely disappointed. This goes both ways. How do you feel towards that friend who is always buying you gifts? Are they really supportive or do you feel somewhat tied to them? This goes for romantic relationships, too.
So, are you in a balanced relationship? Friendship? Are you unhealthily enabled? Are you the imbalanced enabler? Food for thought!
When control is disguised as love, when someone says you should act a certain way, look a certain way, eat something you don’t want to eat, when someone tries to change you or your behavior because they “love you”. This is not love. It’s manipulation. Their desire to control you is a direct reflection on how much control they lack in their own life.
If you’ve been hit with the “I love you” stick or know someone who has,
Let’s face it, life is difficult. It’s mostly a steep climb. We hit walls daily. Things rarely go the way we want them to. People disappoint and hurt us. Advertising kicks our self esteem to the curb. We’ll always be too hard on ourselves. Barrels come flying from every direction every day and we do our best to hurdle them until we have no more jump in us. The thing is this will never change. Like Donkey Kong, those barrels will keep coming and coming and coming… Our wish to change a person, event, or situation will not stop the angry eight hundred pound Gorilla known as life. And the solution isn’t to jump higher or fight harder. It’s not about putting more hours in at work, forcing yourself to go on another diet, grinding away in front of the computer, avoiding people, holding resentment, or wishing you won the lottery.
The key to fighting adversity comes from within. Out there will only change once in here changes. The truth is clouds can part. The sun is there. But the only way to see your potential is to feel it. On your skin. In your heart. In your blood. Once you feel it, you’ll see it, then you’ll live it. The key to fighting adversity is to change your state. Don’t focus on changing your life. If you change your state, your life will change. Internal alignment straightens your path. Never the other way around.
When you change your state - energy, attitude, perspective, walls will turn into doors.
Here’s a few tips on how.
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