104: Fixing Other People’s Problems Instead of Dealing With Your Own Shit

Imagine having a friend with a drinking problem. You can clearly see they’re on a path that’ll lead them down a bad road. You offer your help and invite them to stay with you in your home. You’ll take care of them so that they can get their life together. Except, that your friend doesn’t think they have a drinking problem.

But you insist and convince them to accept your help. You house and feed them, find books, set them up with coaches and support groups… only to find that they keep drinking in your room while you’re out working. 

What do you think are the chances that this will actually end up helping your friend?

And more importantly: What are you avoiding in your own life by dedicating yourself to this unsolicited rescue mission?

[00:00:00] One of the conversations that I had yesterday was about this friend that is currently caretaking of another friend that has an alcohol problem. Right. There’s a lot of worries about, oh, this friend needs me, this friend lives in my place. And I talk to this friend’s mother and I check in. The person is drinking.
[00:00:25] And I try to encourage this person to do the right things. And there was all this worry and all this stress around helping this friend. And as we were talking about it, there was this theme that popped up can almost be summarized. As I think only I can help this person. Like there’s nobody else that wants to help or can help this person feels much better around me is acting better around me.
[00:00:49] Has their life better is a bit healthier, eats better. So I need to do this. But then when I would challenge that notion, it was a lot of resistance on it. But first I challenge [00:01:00] it because I asked, is this friend willing to change this friend, knock on your door and say, today’s the day. And I need a helping hand, but I’m ready.
[00:01:08] The answer was no, this friend is still. Drinking in hiding. And at no point, has this friend ever said, now I’m ready to change. This friend is still on the bandwagon of, yeah. I want to change, but not really. I can’t write that. Right. And you are, they’re trying to force change upon the front. That’s usually not the way it works.
[00:01:32] On top of that, you know, when I pushed back on the, is this really your role to force change upon this friend and to take on this monumental role of living this person’s life now, like you now are going to live your life and this person’s life make the decisions for them. Take care of them. Are you really ready to do that?
[00:01:49] Is that really what you should be doing? And there was a lot of pushback right on this, you know, but I love this person and I’ve known this person for decades and dah, dah, dah, and nobody else is around on a half [00:02:00] day. I need to, and then I said, okay, so if this takes 10 years, are you ready to do it? Like, are you ready to have this person live with you for the next decade to get better?
[00:02:09] And then the answer was no, that goes too far. That’s crazy. Oh, so you have a limit. What’s your limit? Is it five years? Is it two years? And I was like, uh, well obviously nobody had thought about this, but I don’t know. I mean, maybe for the next year, And I go, oh, that’s interesting. So you are so important.
[00:02:28] You’re the only person that can help this person. This person’s life is in danger. You’re convinced this person’s going to die. If you don’t. But you only have a 12 months. This is the extent of this. Does this person know that you’re going to live their life, feed them? How’s them, this site for them, caretake of them.
[00:02:48] But in 12 months, you’re going to cut it and then it’s zero. Now you’re going to be living their life. At some point, you’re going to decide you don’t have the patience anymore to do this. And then boom. Now they’re on the street again. Did you guys talk about this and [00:03:00] make a pact out? This is the amount of time I need this amount of time.
[00:03:02] I can give you, this is what. Obviously, no. And then the most important question I felt in that conversation was what is all of this giving you? You bring this friend into your house with all these problems, with all this pain, this friend that doesn’t want to change yet. You want him to force the change upon.
[00:03:26] What are you getting out of this? What thing does it give you that you really want right now in your life? And it’s not being a good person, but maybe it’s that you want to have the feeling of that, but what is it and what are you running away from through this. Right. There’s something in your life that if there was a void you would have to handle and deal with, but you filled that void with the drama and pain and life of another human.
[00:03:56] And so now you’re busy fixing this person’s life. What [00:04:00] is there that you’re running away from? Did you not fix it in your own life? And that theme? I think. Very common, but we’re so unaware of this when we run to solve other people’s problems to fight other people’s fights. And we think this is because I am what, you know, a good brother, a good friend, a good Christian.
[00:04:23] I have to, because I can’t. But it’s like, you don’t have to live somebody else’s life. Maybe they have sign. Maybe you giving them a bed to sleep in housing them and feeding them is bad for them. Maybe that is holding them back from change. Maybe they have to experience a certain pain in their life that you are, you know, giving them.
[00:04:43] Pain medications. And you are withholding that pain from them. And that pain could be the blessing that transforms them in you or the burden that doesn’t allow that transformation to happen. Who the fuck makes you God to know? What’s good for other people. We don’t barely know what’s good for ourselves, but who makes us the person that has to go and [00:05:00] save other humans?
[00:05:01] Where does that come from that drive now again, hopefully we all love ourselves enough that we want to extend that love to others as well. And we’ve all received love and help and tenderness and care. And so when we can pay it forward and give it to others, that’s awesome. Especially when it’s others that need it, want it and can accept it.
[00:05:20] Then it’s magic. When somebody knocks on your door and goes, I am on my knees. I have a huge problem. I cannot fix it myself and I need to, and I’m ready to, and I need your help. Please help me. You inviting that person to your home and giving them the help they’re ready for. And they’re willing if they’re ready for it.
[00:05:41] It’s beautiful. But it’s different. When you walk out of your house, looking around, spotting your friend in despair or in danger in your eyes, and then dragging them into your house. And then telling them that they have a problem and then telling them that there’s this solution, then telling [00:06:00] them that you are going to be their friend, helping them with all of this, if they want it or not, until you are over it, which is an undetermined time where you don’t know when it is.
[00:06:11] Right. What is that? That’s not some sort of a, I’m just being selfless. There’s no selflessness. It’s a very selfish. Thing. It’s just so selfish that we have to veal it in some fucked up narrative that makes us completely confused, believing we’re the most selfless person ever. Now, what are you running away from?
[00:06:33] What thing are you not willing to deal with in your own life that forced you to go out there and bring in another person into your home? And this is true for smaller things as well. I told you this in one of my. Yoga practice sessions, where I realized, and this has stayed with me now in all areas of life, once in a yoga practice in the morning, my mind would go to a certain friend and one of his problems in my world [00:07:00] and we’ll think about it, analyze it.
[00:07:01] And then I would go, oh, I’m in my mind. I’m in this with my friend. Let’s come back to my body and let’s come back to this pose, come back to the breathing and just be here now. And then a couple of minutes later, my mind would be again, I would find myself. Uh, arguing some issue in my imagination and then I would bring myself back.
[00:07:19] And then the third or fourth time I realized, oh, my mind is running away from something. When our thoughts are all over the place, when we’re not present in the moment by definition, we’re running away from this very moment. By thinking about the future, the past all kinds of things, oh, mind is running away from this moment from our own body, from our own feelings from the now.
[00:07:47] And I thought, oh, this is a good reverse hack. Any time. My mind is with another Schumann. I have to tell myself, come back to yourself. And what are you running away from? What am I [00:08:00] trying to run away from in this moment? And oftentimes a yoga. The answer is some unpleasant sensation. It’s some not so good.
[00:08:09] Feeling in my body, something is on comfortable in my body. And so my mind runs away to an uncomfortable problem with somebody else. Like, especially when my mind goes to other people, it’s always sort of an indicator that I’m running away from me. So I go to them and now this stays with me even past the yoga.
[00:08:29] So even during the day, when my mind goes to people, to people in my life, to my family and it worries and wanders and it debates and an analyst. I go, oh, I’m running away again, but why, what is happening right now? And then I realized, I don’t want to know what’s happening right now. I’m going to go. So it’s true.
[00:08:51] So familiar, right? We really don’t want to be us right now in this moment. [00:09:00] Huh? What do we do now? We can, we dare to be. Right to me, at least for me, it’s always that like running away from you when you you’re occupied with other people’s problems, trying to solve other people’s lives. It’s because you’re running away from your life in your problems.
[00:09:17] This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help. It doesn’t mean you can’t be thoughtful or that you should never consider others. This is not the same thing that you can be incredibly loving, compassionate, and helpful in. But when you sit there in your room and you’re arguing with somebody else’s life in your mind, what they should do, why they aren’t the way they’re supposed to, and that’s not.
[00:09:39] And when you go and try to force your help upon somebody and convince them that it’s right to take. Yes. How many stories have we read and seen of people that sit with addictions? Because that’s a really serious problem that had so many people try to force their help upon them. This is the intervention.
[00:09:59] If you [00:10:00] want it or not, this is happening. And then how many times did that intervention help? Almost never. These people go to these detox clinic. And then they come out and they’re like, oh, thank you so much for forcing me into this clinic. I feel much better. And like three weeks later, they’re back on the street.
[00:10:14] And when they change, we all recognize this moment in their story where they’re like, and that was the moment where I really wanted it, where I decided no. I can’t, I have to change. You cannot change another fucking human being. That’s probably one of our biggest illusions. Like we can barely fucking changed ourselves.
[00:10:31] You cannot make yourself do anything. Right. What makes you think you can make other people completely change their behavior? Now you might have been around. When somebody changed, right? You might have said something and that person was ready to change. And then they were confused and you’re confused of who did the changing.
[00:10:50] They’re like, oh my God, you set this thing. And it changed my life. No bitch, you were ready to change. You change your life. I was just standing in front of you in that moment. [00:11:00] I just happened to say something at that moment. And if it wasn’t me, if you were really ready, which you have to, if you truly changed when you’re.
[00:11:07] It doesn’t meet. The teacher appears it could have been me or an hour later. It could have been somebody else on a YouTube channel. And then two hours later, it could have been a friend at a dinner. You would have heard the message you were ready to hear, and you would have changed the messengers interchangeable.
[00:11:22] Like it doesn’t matter. The teacher doesn’t matter. It’s the student that matters. Like when you’re already, as a student, many teachers will appear. It’s not the teacher that made the change happen and people get confused. I’ve got them confused. On both ends both being the student and the teacher. I thought, oh, this person changed my life.
[00:11:39] No, this is not how it works. We cannot go and fix people’s lives. We can barely fucking fixer on itself. Fucking miracle. When we fix something in our own life, some miracle when we change ourselves, it’s a miracle. Uh, the people, this is not possible. What is that? Quote, where somebody is like, this could even be a doom quote.
[00:11:58] I’m not sure. I don’t think [00:12:00] so, but no, no, it’s not. It’s somebody else. It said the mind commands the body, the body base, the mind commands itself and it meets resistance. Right? It’s not fucking easy to make anything happen in life. And to change is fundamentally magic in some way. I think about it. You took this.
[00:12:18] It was a true. And now it’s a fucking Bush. Like that’s a miracle in nature. It was a fucking monkey. And now it’s a tiger. How the fuck did that happen? That will be a miracle. If you saw a monkey and it just transformed. Oh, tiger. You’d be like, this is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. Only magic would explain this.
[00:12:35] We as human. I capable of sometimes these rare moments of magic, where we were one way. And then we turned and we became a totally different way. We changed fundamentally who we were and how we behave. We lost our dots. We’re not a fucking, whatever animal has dots, fucking Puma Panduro look part that’s it, that’s incredible.
[00:12:57] That’s a miracle. But to think that we can go [00:13:00] around and we will fix other people, we will change them. We will solve their problems. I have to go talk to my friend because I can help her. Like I gonna to go and tell my friend because he can’t, without my support, he needs me. It’s a great hiding place.
[00:13:15] It’s a great hiding place, right? These sentences seem to make sense to me two decades ago. And now when I hear it, I’m like, no, what are you talking about? This is crazy. This person needs you. And only you can make this change. How. I mean, again, this is part of the human experience, the complicated dances we invent, right to fill life when we’re not ready for the miracle of change, we’re not ready for the overwhelming all of the truth.
[00:13:41] Right? We’re not ready to look in the mirror. We get vented whole worlds to not look into the mirror and see what’s there. And, you know, just like everything bad. There’s the good thing about this incredible creative energy that humans will push up on the universe, you know, in order to pull away from themselves, like we will [00:14:00] colonize planets to not face ourselves.
[00:14:03] You know, we will do anything and everything. To not face ourselves whenever we most VM mentally think I have to fix this person’s problems. I have to change this person’s life. That’s when we’re most concerned.

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