Life will always go on. Regardless of how many mistakes you make or the effort you put forth – society will always keep moving forward. Your outcome, though, depends largely on you. But what happens when a loved one is tackling life in all the wrong ways? How do you help someone help themselves?
You can’t belittle another for their chosen path. You can’t shoot down whatever choice(s) they have made. Why? Because you don’t have the power to change another’s life. That gift is in their hands.
Still, it’s not easy to watch someone you love make the wrong choice. Trust me – I know the feeling. It can be painful. Damaging, even.
How many people have you provided advice over the years? How many folks have you painstakingly coached to ‘make better choices’ and to start loving themselves? Now, jot down the folks who took your advice to heart. Think of the people who eventually stopped running when you reminded them of their worth. Consider everyone who learned from you that it’s impossible to love unless you first learn to love yourself.
Coming up short? You aren’t the only one.
But this shouldn’t make you feel any less significant.
You are not in control of someone else’s journey. You don’t hold the power to make good choices for anyone else. You may have nothing but the best intentions. Your heart may feel full of sorrow and heavy with compassion for a loved one’s suffering. And yet, you can only do so much.
Persuasion is a powerful thing. With it, the world can be broken and put back together again. With it, two souls can be torn apart and lost to each other for life.
As a tool, persuasion can be utilized for good, like when you try to persuade that broken friend to reach for a better path. But it doesn’t always work – at least, not as well as you’d like. And this has nothing to do with you or your ability to help others. It has nothing to do with your compassion or kindness.
It all boils down to the person you are trying to help. If that person’s heart isn’t in it, whatever you say won’t matter. Whatever you do won’t matter. And anything you try to give – be it advice, guidance, or empathy – none of it will matter.
You Can’t Help Everyone
Ultimately, you can only save yourself.
If the rest of the world is set on drowning in their own sorrows, you only have control over your own personal reaction. Because in the end, you can’t save anyone who doesn’t want to be saved. You can’t infiltrate a toxic life with happiness if that person is unwelcoming. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. This doesn’t mean you should ignore those who need help. What it means is this: you can only look out for those who welcome your guidance.
Don’t stop being you. Don’t let go of whatever goodness fills your heart because a friend ignored your advice – again.
While there is much left to chance in this life, your bed is yours to make. Each day, you have the choice to make it worth living. You can decide your own reaction to chaos. And sure, you can guide others towards a better path, but you can’t decide for them. That decisions rests solely on their shoulders.
Don’t let the ignorance of another spoil your good energy. Always remember that optimism is contagious. Even in the worst of times, when life gets heavy and cumbersome, remember that a positive outlook will always be a guiding light toward a better tomorrow. And folks, for your own sanity, remember this: you can’t help everyone.