6 Questions to Help You Cope When You Can’t Heal a Loved One

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You see someone you love struggling.  You think you know exactly what it would take to help this person and you have the means to helps them.  And yet, you are stuck watching them struggle.

It is one of the most difficult lessons of helping people as a lightworker.  You learn that you are not a healer to anyone but yourself.  Everyone must do their own work.  By working on your own self-healing you raise the collective vibrations and make things a bit easier in the world and you are able to lead by example and you are in a position to hold space and inspire hope, but you cannot heal anyone else.  This can be hard to accept when you see someone struggling, especially someone you love, and your heart yearns to help them. 

It is only when others are ready to help themselves that we can do anything for them.  They have to be ready to begin their own healing work or nothing can heal.  All we can do is make our work known to them and wait for them to come to us when and if the time is right for them. 

I’m about to get pretty personal here so that I can walk you through the steps I take to cope when I cannot heal a loved one.  I love someone who struggles with addiction.  I have come up with complete treatment plans in my mind to help this person.  I have thought that if only they would choose to get better and come to me for help, we could get through this together.  But it isn’t mine to get through.  They have to go through it alone and they have to be ready to do the healing work.  I accept this, but it is frustrating for me when I want someone to be ready and they just aren’t and there is nothing I can do to make them get that way.  Everyone is on their own journey and no one is in any position to judge or try to manipulate anyone else’s path. 

So, how do I handle this?  The first thing is to stop looking at my loved one and take a strong look at myself.  Struggling with this sort of issue is a sign that it is time for some more work on myself.  I need to ask myself some questions.  Remember, my answers here are personal and unique to my personal situation with a loved one I cannot heal.  These answers will look very different for everyone, but I am sharing mine as an example of how I am working through this. 

1.       How am I taking on someone else’s problem as my own?  Am I trying to take responsibility for their healing?  Am I letting their journey take my focus off my own? 

 In this particular situation, I have let myself spend more time worrying about this person’s illness than they do themselves and have let it take away from my attention to my own growth. It has become a distraction from my work and the good things in my life.

 2.       How am I letting this affect my emotions?   Am I protecting my energy?  Am I letting someone else’s problems rule my feelings? 

 I have let myself take personally that this person is not doing what my ego tells me that they should.  This has caused me sadness and anxiety.  I have also let myself feel resentment over the situation.

 3.       How is this affecting my behavior?  Have I changed my behavior as a result of this problem?  Am I trying to do anything that is not my work to do? 

 I have gone out of my way to try to check up on this person and to try to push them to make changes they do not wish to make at this time.

 4.       What can I do detach myself from the problem?  How can I remind myself that this is not my issue to heal?  How can I let go of my attachment to what I think should be and lovingly accept what is?

I have written affirmations to say each day and each time I feel attachment to this issue.  “I can be healthy and happy even if my loved one is not.  I love and accept this person unconditionally and without expectations.  I am responsible for my own well-being and no one else’s.”

5.       What kind of self-care do I need to implement?  I cannot force others to heal, but I can always heal myself.  What can I do to refocus on my own healing at this time? 

 I have decided to review what I know about co-dependency and work on managing my issues with it.  I will spend time in nature, in meditation and doing self-Reiki. 

 6.       How can I maintain healthy detachment?   How to I keep myself from slipping back into a place of taking on this issue of someone else’s again in future?  Even when we become aware of this type of issue and take steps to correct it, if we do not work to maintain detachment, we can easily end up backsliding into old behaviors.

 For this situation, I have decided it is best if I join Alanon and attend regular meeting to gain support from others going through similar situations.  I will continue to re-evaluate my feeling and behaviors and make adjustments when needed. 

 The next time you find yourself in a situation in which you cannot bring healing to a loved one, try asking yourself the questions above and using them to keep your focus on who you can heal…yourself.