Thoughts of a Helpless Onlooker

21 Nov

It’s been my experience in life that there’s nothing harder than seeing a problem and being unable to fix it. And yes, while this does apply to something as trivial as why there is sometimes no sound when I try to use my Blu-Ray player, I’m really speaking about the bigger problems in life. It’s of course painful when the problem applies to me and my own life, but the pain of helplessness is amplified tenfold when the problem I seek to fix belongs to a loved one. I am a planner and a fixer by nature. I see something broken and it’s my instinct to put it back together, but there are times in life when the situation is out of my control. I can’t take away someone else’s pain. I can’t relieve someone else’s suffering, and I can’t right the wrongs of others.

I hate nothing more than having idle hands. Sitting by while I watch someone make decisions that I disagree with. Twiddling my thumbs while people I care about make choices in life that I know are not the smart ones. Wishing that I could show people how I see them, instead of how they see themselves. While I would love to pull a Monica and be in charge of making decisions for others, life doesn’t work that way. Free will is a strangely beautiful thing. The options we have are limitless, and the ultimate decision ours to make, even when that decision is self-destructive.

How do you convince someone to change their mind when their mind is already made-up? It’s one thing when they’re not aware of the negative effects of their behavior, but what if they know and just don’t care? How can I persuade someone to see the positive when their vision has been clouded by grey? The sad but true answer to these questions is that I can’t. I can talk until I’m blue in the face, match every con with a pro and in many situations it won’t make a difference. The decision has been made, locked in and sealed somewhere I can’t reach. Like watching a storm roll in, there is literally nothing I can do to stop it. All I can do is try to prepare for the worst, pray the damage is minimal, and be there to clean up the aftermath.

If you’re reading this, you know who you are. I think I’ve said all there is to say already, so I’ll remind you one more time: I love you.


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