Bird With A Broken Wing

I am not one of those people who believes, "whoever dies with the most toys wins". In fact I subscribe to the belief that you can't take it with you...but then from there, I believe there is something better after all of this where there are gifts and rewards and parties and friends and all those things deemed lovely. But, I think the lessons are set-up in life where by the time you die, all the rewards we are promised won't even matter because there is an eye-opening enlightenment where we truly figure out what matters.

I believe all of that, let's get that out of the way. I am quite purpose-driven and perhaps writing this down will keep me reminded of that so I don't go into self-centered mode.

Today was a more earthly enlightenment. This was more about my own character discovery/(some may argue)flaw.

I have a (bad?) habit of finding and aligning myself with those who require more than I do. Now I will be the first to stand up and say I have been known to be emotionally a high-maintenance person, although that is becoming less that way as time moves forward. But see, one of the things I love to do is assist other people. As usual, I am not claiming martyrdom...there is always something more complex coming when I say things that seem like I am drawing attention to my good traits. :) HA! Helping others is very rewarding.

Paying it Forward heals society. I am big on it. As far as getting credit goes for helping others, I am sincerely not interested in that. There are a few reasons. One, I would rather people go pay it ahead than stand and thank me for hours. Being thankful is lovely and more people should do it (me included) but it's really not worth an award or anything. Being nice, being helpful...giving an ear to a friend(or enemy) in need is supposed to be normal. So I feel like when I am not helping others, that is the thing that is a problem. Being a friend or friendly is normal, although it's increasingly unpopular nowadays (do I sound like your Grandmther yet?) Two is that I generally have bigger reasons than credit for being of service.

Here is my gripe. I am amazed how a Good Samaritan can have good motivation(oh, that is what I strive for by the way, it is NOT my title...lol) but be treated like a Jail Mate.

Let me give you an example.

A man is raising his children alone. He works both night and day to keep things afloat after his ex leaves him with the responsibility. His bills mount up high, taxes go unpaid...the house turns into a war zone, he barely sleeps and barely gets by. He meets up with a new woman and they decide to get married. She comes into this insane responsibility both work-wise and emotionally.

Because she loves him and the children, she throws herself into the scene with both feet and her caution to the wind. But because she has never had children before, it's a very difficult transition. She almost ends up looking as rough as him and the two of them are in a crazy scenario of stress.
Now, her motivation was to be helpful because she loved them. But at the very second she decides she needs some time to herself or has been unsuccessful at cleaning up his past mess, she takes the brunt of his past stress. As they fight, he says things like, "You have a roof over your head...why are you so ungrateful?" She complains they never spend time together... you know insert your own scenario. This is quite common.

The problem with this scene is that her heart was the type to bring home the birds with the broken wings. She loves to be helpful and do her best to fix things. But generally speaking and I need to really stress this point, this kind of person is usually very disinterested in obtaining credit. You see, credit alone is not enough to sustain a person through these types of relationships. Simply having a roof over her head isn't enough to stay in that kind of work-load.

Her motivation was to be helpful to the ones around her, but now they have dragged her down into their festering pot and the little things she used to do don't exist anymore. She is made to feel guilty if she has anything in her life that is enjoyable because everyone else is so dysfunctional around her. Misery LOVES company. ...and the more, the better. A person who is miserable can quite often sabotage their own happiness because they have no idea what that means.

So the Good Samaritan in the situation becomes like them...because they are more comfortable when she is burned out, tired and unhappy. She's invited into their jail and her loving/giving heart makes her feel guilty enough to go there.

As far as the people I align myself with, I have the tendancy to try and help those with BIG suitcases of skeletons. I think if I was more equipped like a doctor etc, I could handle it...but like Alanis said, "I am not the Doctor" and therein lies my revelation. I get so absolutely pissed off when I take the brunt of their stress because not only am I not the Doctor, but I didn't make the mess to begin with!

So two things need to happen. I either have to go and get my psychotherapy degree so I can get paid to be shit on, or I can stop helping others.

I am unwilling to do either because a) I don't like that job and b) I am not going to stop helping others because it's a human trait we need to keep So off of that, I think I will stay a musician and keep a safe distance from those who need me who are "needy". I will help where I can, but I have been suicidal. I have been depressed. I have looked and felt like hell for much of my life...little sleep, poor health etc so I need to draw the line on what and who will suck me down with them. It's not selfishness, but how can I possibly continue to assist those who need me when I am in need of too much assistance?

While the birds break my heart DAILY, I am going to try making wiser choices about what I can physically handle. It just makes more sense.

Even though my mom died of cancer, I would say her affliction was "care-giver burnout". From taking care of the elderly, to looking after us...friends and other family, I believe she took on more than what she should have. I love her heart for it! But I believe it contributed to losing her ultimately.

I remember an ex-employer once told me, "Karen you work really hard, but you're not working smart." This means picking the battles and looking after myself first so I am more equipped to assist others around me.

How many people do you know who have lost everything because they put others first? I admire them...please know that I do. But if some people are burning out, it means others may not be pulling up their own socks. It's really important that when you see someone you know giving more than they should, that you not only pitch in(I don't mean take-over) but allow them to take some time for them.

And on top of that, if someone is working really really hard, they don't necessarily want credit. They may be trying to alleviate your work-load so they can spend some time with you...or they simply want you happy.

It's not fair to always assume in an argument that someone needs credit. Even if they are proclaiming they don't get your credit, it could be a sign of the fact that they deem you ungrateful or their heart feels unfairly judged.

I really don't know very many people wh put themselves in torturous situations simply for a pat on the back....so a statement like, "What do you want from me, a medal?" is entirely useless coming from the person they are assisting.

Things like clean houses don't matter if someone is not happy.

And on that note, trophies are tacky anyways. They are usually gawdy gold and require dusting. Nothing like having the extra responsibility of shining the damn things, right? ;)


"Helping someone is what life is all about." ~ Willie Stargell

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