Bystander to destruction and elation

I’ve come to a place where I can detach myself from both the good and the bad that stirs around me, insomuch as I can choose when and how to intercede, understanding the effects are limited to the principal’s will. It kind of sucks. It outwardly appears and feels powerless. Mentally, I know it’s a means of developing inner fortitude.

I’m talking about participating in others’ ups and downs. For some, there’s a seemingly endless downward spiral. They are devoid of common sense and rationality, at least to the naked eye. I can bang them on the head with advice or imply a whisper to no avail. This is when that sense of detachment helps me get through it. I wonder if that’s strength, or is it a sign of weakness?

It’s been considered as a lack of empathy by others. I have to dispel that myth. I very much empathize with the principals, but I don’t condone their actions. The degree to which the principals are self-destructing can vary from hard-headed and illogical beliefs to addiction. I guess I wonder when it’s necessary to become the principal’s shadow, when to dig the claws in and insist? It doesn’t work, right? Should we try?

Everyone’s eager to jump on board when someone succeeds. Everyone wants to take credit. At minimum, many are willing to accept the principal’s gratitude. Yes, it’s easy to pretend to be an active member in another’s fortunes. What about their misgivings?

I am currently weighing my concerns over two beautiful people I know and love: one who is deliberately ignoring  the obvious and horrible to grasp at an elusion of happiness, the other who is happy despite facing a life-threatening illness. I am carefully protecting my queen on the chess board of moves with the former and surrendering her to the latter. Am I capable of changing their fate? I feel not so much with the former, but somehow ABSOLUTELY with the latter. Ha! Ridiculous, right?

Then, when I do that detachment thing, I look at them both and think it’s so darned frustrating. I have to dive in. But how? And who is ultimately to blame/credit?

I don’t mean this to be a discussion on self-importance. I see it more as a discussion on how, when, why to intervene in the lives of others. Is the general rule to act or to allow? Is either one more right or wrong?

I personally think there are a variety of answers to this, but I’d love to start the dialogue. (Oops, guess I just acted, but will then allow.)


8 thoughts on “Bystander to destruction and elation

  1. I find this a most timely post for me, with several friends contacting me from distant and near locations in pre-suicidal modes of one type or another! Let us pray together how how best to meet these challenges!

    • Absolutely! Right there with you! Stay strong. I know it’s hard to be the stable rock when there’s an avalanche and ambush upon you. I’ve got you rooted!

  2. Gosh, That’s a hard one. I would say only give advice if you have been in the persons shoes and even then Your shoes may be too big or too small. I had a wise math teacher glare at me and say, ” you can lead a mule to water but you cannot make him drink” And if they wont drink that’s when I would walk away.

    • I agree, to a point. ‘Cause then you’d have to say only a former addict could help an addict. I don’t want to have to go through that devastation in order to prevent it. Not trying to reject your thoughts, but sort through them in my own head…and on a public blog (sorry).

  3. so wish I had an answer – it is a delicate balance – and I never give advice because when I have in the past, I have then found out another piece to the puzzle, which made my advice incorrect
    I have had people give me advice, and have had to swallow it, without giving them some important pieces of the puzzle–if they had known the whole story they would not have been so soon to judge
    just be there and listen–do not step back or out–

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