The other day while trail running, I came across a bridge that they where building at the upper lake at Ramapo on my hike. This was put in a spot where there is a stream of water running down toward the lake. Picture if you can... muddy water with branches across it, and logs, a spot that you can climb across the branches like a balance beam to get across. One false move and you've got a wet and muddy shoe. It's not to challenging at all of a cross over, and there are ways around it. I came up to the new bridge and I understood why they put it there, yet enabling came into my analytical mind. The thought that entered in, was that part of the adventure had been made easier. Stopping people from taking a little more initiative on how to get around, or perhaps stopping them from challenging themselves on crossing over.
Obviously, a bridge could help lesson a sprained ankle, or dirtied clothes and I'm not saying anything negative about those wanting help, however I'm just inspired by the bridge to tell a piece of my story. I need help, we all need help sometimes, however helping is not the same as doing for. I was a wild child, yet a shy child. I can't really remember much about my life before the age of 9. There was not much in the ways of restrictions or rules. Both parents worked and we didn't really have supervision. I was allowed to do things most other kids would not be able to do. By the time I was a teen I refused to do school work and my Mom did most of it for me. I had an easy childhood, and my Mother loved me dearly but the enabling caused severe anxiety as an adult. Not my parents fault, they did the best they could in their own situations. Everyone goes through things in life and we do what we can with what we have. Parenting is not an easy thing, and I don't think there is a perfect parent out there in my opinion. We are all perfectly imperfect doing our best.
With my anxiety, I developed a huge fear of failure. When everything is done for you and you go out into the real world its paralyzing, There are a whole lot of I can'ts that come up,so we tell ourselves. however If you don't encourage your kids to be in sports, or cook, or clean, draw ,write, read. Chances are they'll never try to. I'm learning it gets easier as you go. Reiki, and yoga, and nature have helped me manage my anxiety. I get stronger every day, and now my strength comes from within, Though I suppose it always did. I'm a survivor and I've been through a lot in my life. I chose to get fit, I chose to train for reiki and I chose to read the books and go to yoga and do the things that can help improve my life. one thing holds true... There is always room for growth.
During my daughters first few years, I enabled her. I coddled her and hovered over her. She was a high needs baby. She cried all the time and my husband at the time wanted quiet. I became a soother...I now have a nine year old with severe anxiety dependent on me doing all for her, and telling herself she can't. Enabling is a subject I wanted to touch on because it's important to let people fly on their own. By that I mean walk over the stream without the bridge. Use their brain to figure out how to get over. Point the direction without carrying them over. It's what I'm doing now, and I wish I had done it sooner. You don't realize you're enabling when you're doing it, and you do it out of love, not realizing a better way to love is to uplift and encourage them to find their own courage. I still enable in some areas but shifts upward keep happening and it's a beautiful thing to see unfold.
I'm changing the way I do things and working on being a better mother, friend, lover every day. I've stated this fact before, but the truth is I'm constantly changing and growing, and learning and experiencing. We all are, it's an amazing concept to realize we have the power to shift our perceptions and thoughts. It's the people around us that matter and our connections with them. Teaching has grown me so much, I see growth in myself as a teacher and in my students and it is now showing a little bit through my daughter as well. I started off more with a boss type of teaching, and slowly but surely I've come into a place of guidance trust and unity. I learn as much from my students as they do from me. My path is to teach and guide, not boss or control or enable. It is all of our paths to do this in whatever situation it happens to be,work, family, sports, even at work if a person is doing all of someone else's work for them. They should not complain of all the work they're doing, as they chose to do it. The one losing is actually the one having it done for them. They are not being helped, they're learning how not to evolve and grow.
My relationships are getting stronger, I'm more fearless and I'm becoming a better guide(not a boss) to my child and that is the greatest reward. Have you been enabled in any way? Do you enable? What things can you do to change or help without doing for or having it done for you? Anxiety is no ones friend... I used to have blackouts and pass out from it and I'm so grateful that my life continuously changes for the better. What things do you do for self care and growth? Message me, I'm always looking to try new things and share views and ideas with people. I'd love to know your story too.