Maybe it’s the job I’m doing now or the things I’m noticing that people are talking about, but I’ve come to notice there’s a thin line between being supportive and being an enabler. And if that’s not grey enough for you, throw in the whole concept of how we’re supposed to mirror out to people the good we see in them and I’m left wondering when…and how…are we actually supposed to hold people accountable?
Holding someone accountable for their actions…to their word…isn’t easy. It’s hard, especially hard when you are trying to find that delicate balance between supporting them and not enabling them. The last thing any of us wants to be is a parent to a loved one. That person that is always reminding them of their actions…asking them to think twice before doing or saying something…keeping a list of the things done wrong.
No. Most of the time we’re trying to be the person who is positive…focused on the good…supporting through encouragement and kind words. Because we fear if we aren’t that person, what will happen to us??? Forget the fact that holding someone accountable is often for their own good…and maybe the good of those around them. Forget that we aren’t the ones actually doing anything wrong. Forget that we aren’t the ones who have asked for help in some regard. Forget that we are simply fulling a promise that we made to you to actually hold you accountable. Forget all that.
What happens if we do hold you accountable…and you don’t like it? The fear is that while we’re doing our requested duty to help you be the best you you can be, that you aren’t going to like it and we’ll be left…standing in the cold…wondering what we should have done differently. Wondering if we should have been more supportive. Wondering if we should have given you just a little extra rope. Questioning how we could have made the situation easier on you. Well who is making the situation easier on us?
See that’s the thing…the thing I don’t have an answer for. There’s no right or wrong answer on how to handle a situation where you are trying to hold someone accountable…where you are trying to support them in being their best self…where you are trying to enable them to reach their higher self. There’s no text book definition of what you should do and if someone tells you there is, they are either full of shit or to scared to say they don’t know what to tell you to do either.
It terrifies me that I don’t know how to handle some situations. That I struggle with whether I’m helping or hurting someone’s potential. That I wonder if short-term or long-term pain is the better choice. And it terrifies me to know that others sit in that same situation….without answers.
When this happens, I’ve learned to ask my heart what feels right. There’s usually some guidance that comes from within. But I know that eventually, that voice quiets because it too gets confused. It too struggles with being supportive…enabling…or holding the person accountable. And it struggles with these things because it loves. The heart loves you…and it loves me…and it loves having us in each others’ lives. The heart only stops struggling when it knows the relationship is over. Until then, the best news I can share is that we are all in this mess together….loving each other.