I used to think I was compassionate. I wasn’t. I am now. And I’ve just realised why.
When I was younger, I wanted to help everyone. It was something that drove me each day. I loved to see people light back up having walked through darkness. I loved being the torch holder. I believed I could, with someone’s permission, be a solution-giver.
I realised that something was wrong one day as I arrived at work. (You’ll see several things wrong with this but go with me!) By the time I’d pulled into the car park having left home, I’d sent 20 text messages. It wasn’t a one-off. It was a routine. I’d turned into a Drama-Chaser. I’d checked in on all the waifs and strays I had in my life and tried to make sure their days started well but I’d not given a single thought to my day yet.
I realised I wasn’t walking anyone’s path alongside them. I was trying to be the healer, the protagonist and the trophy. I wasn’t helping anyone because I was trying to prove my own self-worth from their problems whilst hiding from my own. It’s a hideous thing to admit, but if I was managing to support anyone, it was luck more thank anything else. I realised that if I didn’t confront my own demons, I couldn’t authentically help someone who was facing down their fears. I couldn’t talk the talk if I had avoided walking it all my life.
I used to believe I could be sucked into my own darkness and never find my way out. I used to believe that once I saw black, I’d never be able to see light again. I was, in short, Queen of Avoidance. It took all the faith I had to tell myself that if it’s all internal, then I owned the light too. It’s taken me years to find the courage to lift the lid on all sorts of things I’ve crammed into mind boxes over the years. But I finally understood the choice and opened up.
Now I don’t want to be someone’s lifesaver and I know I actually can’t be. I don’t wish I could do someone’s healing for them any more for it would be to deprive them of such a potentially beautiful journey. I just want friends to know I’ll be fully present if I’m asked to match their pace for a while. No matter how misshapen they may feel, I want them to know I have only love, pride and respect for those who face down their fears whilst I learn to do the same.
PS.I promise I drive better nowadays too!