Will you just be ok…..

Ever since I was a little kid, I can recall memories where the most important thing in life to me was that those around me were “ok”. When my family would get in fights or my parents would start to disagree, as if it were yesterday, I can still recall the feelings and emotions I would go through burdening their troubles. My entire emotional package would unwrap according to their status. Essentially “I was only ok, if they were ok”. This wasn’t just for my family though, it expanded to many of those who were close to me. I have such a heart to serve, love and live with compassion for others, it had crossed the boundary of healthiness and encroached a place which was no longer strengthening who I was to be. I began to live for the happiness of others. Too often I would give of myself just to make others happy and satisfied. Although I didn’t pledge ungratefulness to them, unconsciously I began to resent them for that which I gave. But I would not return void. What I received from the exchange was a sense of feeling like I was a knight in shining armor. I was the self-abasing giver. It wasn’t a true gift though, it was a move to make me feel ok.

Fifteen years later, I was no different. In the first serious relationship of my life I thought I would ride into it on my high horse finding a girl who needed rescuing and me being a prince who needed a cause. The results could be nothing more than disastrous. But this is what began my addiction. It was a coping mechanism for me. I needed to save others, to rescue them so that I would be ok. There was nothing selfless about my giving, it was still all about me.

I thought that since then I had learned. I thought that I had recognized this and had changed. I have tried so hard in the last year to not save those around me –it is not my job or my responsibility. I have tried to rather just listen, to be. Largely to my credit I feel I have been able to hold this balance.

However, I have realized that our past always lingers. Do we ever fully embrace a new behavior? How often do we have to go back and focus on that same old behavioral goal time and time again, even when we thought we conquered it? Do we ever really shed our old skin and mature into our new walk? It is always in the most trying times, the points of stress and those situations where we are most unknown that we resort to our comfort zone. For me, I can see how I have retreated to the same old adage of mine – “If you are ok, I am ok”. To some counselors, this is called an addiction.

Lately I often find myself getting gut rut over knowing a loved one of mine is not ok. I so badly want to do everything in my power to rescue them – to give them comfort. I will give of myself time and time again just so that they are ok – because then, I will sleep at night. It drives me to comfort those I love.

Is there hope? Of course there is. I have to remember, I am not God, nor is it my job that others reach any form of nirvana. I am simply a human who has enough shit of my own to deal with. But, I can pray… I can enmesh others with prayer and simply love them. There is a trust in God that is needed, rather than relying on our own abilities. If we believe that God is good, why do we sometimes push so hard to do it on our own?

I have no problem admitting that I have an addiction…….an addiction to making others realize they are ok. This is not where God wants me to be though. I honestly believe that prayer is the only way to overcome our behavioral skeletons.
How can one save, when they need to be saved? God I need your deliverance….