In my marriage, I would often allow my husband’s problems to become my own.
He could arrive home in a bad mood, worked up about some trivial thing, and soon, I would be doing everything in my power to fix his problem or bend myself around his needs instead of focusing on my own serenity.
After my divorce, I would still react to other people’s problems: shift my schedule to fit their schedule or, work to figure out a solution to their pain, or start taking over a difficult situation when really it was their place to step up and do something about it.
It is fine to be compassionate to another human’s needs… to be available as a sounding board if necessary but… when someone is simply irked about something, or hasn’t planned properly for an expected event, or gets into the habit of being complacent and allowing others to “step in and save them,” then it is not my place to become worked up and try to right their mess.
I must learn to step back and allow people to figure out their own problems, suffer the consequences of their own actions.
If I constantly step up and take on the burdens of their life, I am interfering in an important process of their spiritual growth: The chance to learn from past mistakes so that they are not repeated in the present.
“Dear God, help me to step back and allow others the opportunity to experience life on life’s terms. It is not my place to “play God.” It is my place to share my compassion, strength, experience and hope as they walk their own spiritual path.”