Imagine you are standing in front of a bridge. You may have made it to the edge before, but you have always retreated. Scared. Overwhelmed. Unsure.
But not this time. You know you need to cross. The time has come for you to stop running from yourself. You know that, even thought you did not create your wounds, you are responsible for healing them. And that’s what traversing the bridge is. Shedding the layers. Draining the infection. Unpacking the emotional baggage that has weighed you down for so long.
You put one foot in front of the other. You move slowly, but you go forward. Sometimes you stop and rest. Look around and get your bearings. Sometimes the pain is so great you can’t breathe. Other times, you progress with ease. The further you go, the lighter you feel. Finally, you make it to the other side.
You can’t believe how great it is over there. The air smells sweeter. Colors are more vibrant. The sun feels warmer. The stars are brighter. You feel alive, energized and whole. You wonder now what took you so long to get here. What were you so afraid of? This place is so much better than where you came from.
Now that you have a taste of the freedom, the joy, the peace, you want everyone that you love to have it too. Who wouldn’t want to experience this?
You look back over the bridge and you see some of the people you hold most dear standing there. Others are noticeably absent. They are not even aware there is a bridge, let alone that they have the choice to cross it.
Waving your hand, you beckon those who are there forward. “Come on”, you tell them. ” I know it’s scary. But just take a step. I will be with you on your journey. And I’m waiting for you here on the other side. You can do it.”
They shake their head no. They are not ready. Or able. Some turn and walk away, disappearing into the haze from which they emerged.
You feel your heart break. For you. For them. You ache to have their presence with you. You’d give anything for them to try. To understand why they need to make the voyage. To see how much better their life will be if they do.
Maybe, you think, they just need a little more support and encouragement. Your chest swells with hope again. Sure, you say, if I go back and help them over the bridge, then they will come.
So you start back across the rickety wooden planks, swaying as you go. You call their name as you get closer. But they don’t hear you. They can’t hear you. You notice that you are feeling weak and sick as your proximity nears theirs. You are getting sucked into their toxic vacuum. Try as you might, you can’t fight it. It’s too strong for you, like the undertow of the ocean pulling you out into the stormy, chaotic sea.
You realize you have to turn back and head in the opposite direction. To stay with them means leaving you. And you’ve come too far. That’s not an option. So you go, glancing back over your shoulder, tears streaming down your face because you so did not want it to be this way.
And it is.
Because here’s the sucky truth.
You can’t fix people who will not met you in a conscious space
You can’t fix people who won’t look at their wounds, or acknowledge that they have them.
You can’t fix people who will not do their own work.
You can’t fix people who are convinced it’s all your fault.
You can’t fix people who don’t know they are broken.
You can’t fix people who are unwilling to take responsibility for their energy.
You can pour all of your time, effort, resources and energy into changing them. But none of this will create their wake up call. All it will do is drain you, and pull your focus off your own healing.
Maybe you believe that if they really loved you, they would change. If you mattered enough, were valuable enough, worthy enough, good enough, they would get it.
I’m here to call bullshit on that lie. And it is a lie. The truth?
They need to love themselves enough to seek their own healing. Their resistance or inability to do that has absolutely nothing to do with your value as a human being. Not. One. Thing. You don’t cease to matter because someone else can’t see your worth. They can’t even see their own. They have to claim their worth for themselves. As much as you’d like to, you can’t find it for them. It’s an inside job. Always.
Feel how much it hurts. Cry every tear you need to.
And then commit to stepping through the portal to your own well being. Cross the bridge. Maybe they will join you one day, maybe they won’t. Regardless of what they do, you deserve healing for yourself.