Why is it so hard to let those we love have their own journey? We want to protect them; we want to show them how; we want to do it for them; we want to save them from making mistakes. All good intentions, but misguided.
It's essential for each of us to walk our own path, to find our own way. It's empowering and necessary. And, yes, we'll make mistakes along the way, but that's how we learn. As much as those around us want to prevent us from making mistakes, there's value in doing it. We always learn more from experience than from what we're told to do or told not to do. And, when we learn through our own choices and the consequences of those choices, we gain moral authority. We know ourselves more deeply.
When we allow another to have their journey, we set ourselves free and we empower them. When we let another go into their own experience, we're trusting them and honoring their ability to make their own choices and live by them. It's not always easy to let another go, but until we do, the relationship can not fully bloom into what is possible. As long as one person puts themselves above or over the other, the relationship is limited. But, when both people are set free, the relationship is able to grow.
It's not easy to watch those we love make mistakes that we feel we could have saved them from. But, truly, we can't really save anyone, and when we understand the value of all experience, we wouldn't want to. And, when we take experience from another and take it upon ourselves, we make our own journey more burdensome.
If we were able to support each other through our experiences, discuss and advise but not overpower, and let each other make our own decisions and choices, we'd all feel better about ourselves. And, if we stayed focused on ourselves and our own journey, and let everyone else do the same, we would all be less overwhelmed and worried. The other thing that happens when we try to walk someone's journey for them is that we fall into judgment about what they're doing. We have our own agenda about what we think they should be doing and get upset if things go differently than we think they should. And, no one feels good being judged, or being the recipient of our upset or anger because of the way they chose to do something.
It can be particularly difficult if someone we love is exhibiting what we see as self-destructive behavior. And, letting go in these types of situations can be especially painful, but it's still necessary. We can only ever save ourselves, and allow the other to come into awareness or realization at their own pace. If someones's self-destructive behavior is affecting or harming those around them, something might need to be done to stop the harm that's being caused by removing everyone from immediate proximity. But, the person will need to find their way back on their own.
We're all here to love each other and teach each other and support each other and help along the way. But, we also lift each other up by honoring each other's path. Our paths might come together or move apart, we might walk with someone for a while and then need to walk separately, and it's all okay. Being there for someone doesn't mean holding onto them with an iron grip, or expecting them to do things the way we think they should be done. Being there for someone means accepting them for who they are and loving them. And, no matter whether someone is with us or away from us, we can always love them. No matter what they've done or haven't done, we can still love them. Even when they've lost their way, we can still love them.
Loving someone is the greatest gift we can give. And, real love is always based in freedom and respect. How free is your love?