In the 1980's food aid was sent into Africa to help feed those who were struggling to feed themselves. It had an unintended negative consequence. Free food was dropped into communities. These communities were used to growing their own food, but once they had a supply of free food they stopped planting their crops, they stopped tending to the land, they didn't need to anymore, food was being brought to them. So when the free food ran out, they were left in a worse position than before. They had to start again with even less resources than they had before.
There are numerous examples that show us that doing things for other people, rather than empowering them to do it for themselves, has disasterous consequences. It's easy to see these things on the bigger scale, for the obvious examples, but what about when we look at the smaller scale, who we are loving & caring for around us?
Is it loving & caring to give a man free fish or to teach him to fish for himself?
Is it loving & caring to always tie your child's shoelaces or to teach them to do it for themselves?
Is it loving & caring to get an addict their drug of choice or to help them to recover from it?
Is it loving & caring to clean up someone's mess (house, life, relationships,...) or let them suffer their own consequences?
The loving & caring thing is often unclear. We try to help sometimes, but what we are actually doing is enabling others not to learn to care for themselves, we are being codependent.
I've been doing what I do professionally for 19 years now & it took me quite a few years more than I'd care to admit to, to realise that I can't help people who don't help themselves. That is: if someone isn't seeking the help & isn't willing to invest in themselves to get that help, then if I try to help it never helps them.
Loving & caring for those who don't do love & care for themselves always backfires. The love & care can't be received, they are like endless drains never able to be filled because we cannot be any one else's source. Their source is within themselves, their own connection with the true source.
Take a look around you. Who are you loving & caring for? Who drains you? Who uplifts you? Who are you constantly trying to fix because they seem such a mess?
The loving & caring thing to do is to allow them to find their own power within them, for them to actually feel the consequences of their not looking after themselves so that they have the motivation to do it for themselves. This often means people have to hit rock bottom before they will bounce back, but we have all been there & bounce back we do!
Are there parts of your life where you are not loving & caring for yourself? Because just as we can enable others who aren't caring for themselves, we can also be the ones who aren't loving & caring for ourselves & wanting others to do that for us. It could be your health, or your relationships, or your finances, or addictions,...
When you start to love & care for yourself, you open the door to other people who are loving & caring for themselves, who can also love & care for you too, to come in. When loving & caring people love & care for each other it's a win win situation. It uplifts everyone & disempowers no-one.
Which brings me to how you can love & care for others & have a positive effect. Loving & caring for those who are loving & caring for themselves. They are taking responsibility. You are taking responsibility. Neither you nor them NEED care from others, but they want it. This care can be received because they are already receiving the care from themselves. The love is uplifting for everyone because it's reciprocated. It's magical. It never depletes. It is the only true giving. It can only be given by those loving & caring for themselves first.
You can have a FREE copy of my latest book "Having It All: A Guide To Creating A Life Beyond Your Wildest Dreams" by clicking here!