Watching the People You Love Ruin Their Lives

You love them with all your heart, yet they make choices and decisions that bring discomfort, despair, and chaos into their life. There’s little worse than watching the people you love ruin their lives. You want to help. You give your input and suggestions, still, they insist on being their own worst enemy.

It breaks your heart every time they do it, yet you cannot prevent them from exercising their own free will and living the life they were meant to live.

What? “the life they were meant to live?” That’s right. Everyone is on their own individual journey. Each one is different and different people are destined to have different experiences, in a sense to play out the hand they were dealt in such a way to get them where their life’s journey leads.

You know, in your life, you’ve made bad decisions which have led to uncomfortable consequences. But didn’t you learn from those experiences? Weren’t there critical pivot points in your life which made you evaluate your decision-making process, change your life, and make better decisions in the future?

This is the process, and you can’t do it for anyone else. This may make you feel like you’re watching the people you love ruin their lives, but you’re not. You are not watching them ruin their lives, what you’re doing is watching the people you love make their own way through life, just as you’re making your own way through yours.

We’ve all learned key values based on our individual experiences, such as being a people pleaser or keeping up with the Joneses. Taking the easy way out, procrastination, giving up too soon or holding on too long. Asserting your superiority or not valuing others. You know all the right answers and everyone else is wrong. Not speaking your peace, or not being open to new ideas.

You know from your own experience that it’s not a good thing to bury the past and ignore it, to judge others harshly, to engage in hate speech, to think that what you want is all that matters, or to hold onto expectations so tightly that if something doesn’t go your way, your whole world collapses.

You’ve learned valuable life lessons, like having a bad experience doesn’t mean that everything associated with a similar focal point of your bad experience (stocks, cars, investments, mate choice, religion, social cliques, pets, children, relatives, etc.) is patently also potentially “bad.” You know better to throw the baby out with the bathwater. You’ve learned this over time.

You know if you feel like you can’t do it, you probably can. You’ve learned to be open to new ideas because you might end up making your own life easier or better. You’ve discovered that cutting yourself some slack, not judging yourself harshly, and taking time to relax and smell the roses are not only beneficial but necessary for living a good life.

You’ve learned that not all advice from people you care for and trust is not always the best advice.

Failure is not fatal. If you fall off the horse, you dust yourself off and get ready to give it another go. You’ve learned that you cannot give to others or love with all your heart if your cup is empty.

You’ve learned to graciously accept assistance if someone offers to lend a hand, and to avoid being seen as narcissistic by others.

You’ve learned to accept others as they are, where they are on their own individual journey. You love them, you let you make their own way, and you bless them as they learn from their own experiences.

Many of the most valuable lessons in life are learned by living life, by making mistakes, and learning from them. Why would you deny anyone that part of their journey?

The people you love have to find and make their own way, to discover all these things on their own. You may share your own story as an interesting anecdote, but do not preach to nor condemn them for having the courage to make their own decisions, and do not coddle them when they suffer the consequences.

This is their life. Honor them.

Yes, it can be hard to watch them go through it. You can pray for them, bless, them, love them, but do not judge them, for they are doing the best they can with what they have, as so have you.

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