Why are they not confiding in me? Why am I not the go-to person when they need guidance and counselling?
I used to ask myself those questions when I felt so envious that my high school friends would choose someone else instead of me to confide in. Someone whom we’ve all looked up to even back in our high school days. Someone more responsible, mature and wiser amongst us. She was the default guidance counsellor in our batch.
Many of us looked up to her. Admired her. Respected her.
And I so wanted to be like her. To be liked. To also be looked up to and given high regard.
I wanted my friends to also confide in me. I wanted them to consult with me and come to me for advice.
But it proved to be such an elusive aspiration. It didn’t see fruition — for the ‘right’ reasons, I find out much later on, as I delved deeper into my inner work.
Am I Not Good Enough?
At the peak of my IT career in 1998, I had a wake-up call due to an illness which started my healing journey. I gained so much clarity about myself and my issues. I became aware of my dysfunctional and destructive habits and patterns. I began to make conscious and wiser choices.
I thought that with the insights and wisdom that I gained, a lot of my friends would seek my counsel and guidance.
But it didn’t happen — much to my disappointment.
What am I missing? Where am I lacking? Am I not wise enough? What else must I do (and undo) for my friends to come to me for advice? To gain their approval?
My self-worth was evidently anchored in external measurements. Outside validation.
Despite the deep and intense inner child work that I had undertaken and having already become aware of my unmet childhood developmental needs, I continued to rely heavily and solely upon external means to fulfill my need for approval and admiration.
A Magnet for Lost Souls
Over the years, I continued focusing on healing myself.
I continued my quest. For Truth. For Love. The Way.
In 2010, I began my search creation process for my geographical island home in the Philippines, my country of origin. Yet another elusive dream.
The island that would welcome me ‘home’ and I haven’t crossed paths yet. My travel adventures which included numerous misadventures brought me to many places — inner and outer.
During my explorations, I encountered attracted a lot of lost souls. Those who’d feel comfortable with me even during our first meeting. Comfortable enough for them to tell me their life stories. Their heartaches and pains.
Each conversation ended with them feeling much better. Relieved. Unburdened.
And each conversation ended with me feeling fulfilled. ‘Full’ and ‘filled up.’
My friends — who have since vanished from my life — may not have confided or counselled with me. But there were many others — mostly strangers — who have.
And that was enough — more than enough — to make me feel fulfilled. Mission accomplished!
Or so I thought.
The feeling of fulfillment would be there at the end of each encounter and conversation.
But as soon as I’m by myself, in my solitary moments, something still felt incomplete. Lacking. Missing. Something felt off.
There was still a void. A feeling of emptiness. Of misalignment.
Further inquiry led me to my rescuing tendency. How deeply ingrained it is in my system.
I became so much more aware how that was what was motivating me to want to ‘help’ others heal and ‘be of service.’ Why I wanted others to come to me for guidance and counselling. Why I wanted to become a healing practitioner and set up a healing center — a long-held dream which, thankfully, did not materialize because I was apparently creating from a space of lack.
Pandora’s box opened.
No More Dramas
I became even more aware of how much drama there was in my life — others’ and my own (beginning with my family of origin).
I realized how I ‘thrived’ in the dramas. How I, subconsciously, was seeking it. Why I was attracting the ‘lost souls’ and the ‘poor me’s’ with their victim stories.
The more dramatic and tragic their stories are, the more motivated I was to help. To offer my wisdom and give them advice. To come to their rescue, yikes! 😮
Nowadays, I am repulsed by dramas. They’ve lost their appeal, thankfully! 🙂 Especially dramas of other people.
I cannot even imagine myself listening to someone pour their hearts out to me — especially if all they want is to vent without any intention of moving out of victim mode. Not a few have the desire to remain in their misery, albeit unconsciously. They want to stay stuck in their agony; they want to feed the drama.
As soon as I sense such energy dynamics about to play out, I quickly feel my energies drop. My defenses rise up effortlessly. Almost instantaneously.
And I can only patiently and compassionately listen — if at all — for a few minutes. I’ve lost all desire to pull them out of such a situation. All I want is to quickly get away from such interactions.
So unlike in my younger, unaware, unawakened years.
And the loss of interest isn’t because I don’t care.
Oh, I do.
I do care for the well-being of others. Knowing so well the difficulty of being in the midst of confusion and chaos, I most certainly want to see those who are suffering to be unburdened.
But I also now know that sometimes, people need to go through stressful situations as part of their growth process. Those situations are gifting them with the skills that they have yet to develop or master. Those challenges are leading them back to themselves — to their inner reserves — instead of relying on others to get them out of their rut.
That is if they so choose to go the self-mastery route over victimhood and misery.
And because I now know this, I no longer feel excited about being the one to whom people would run for guidance on their problems and challenges.
I have been a dumping site for others’ problems which I mistakenly saw as my mission. That I was ‘being of service’ when I make myself available and allow others to pour their hearts out to me — even when there’s no indication on their part to want to find a solution and move through and get out of their agony.
I no longer see it as my mission to ‘help’ others in that way.
I no longer want to be their rescuer and enabler.
I’m more mindful now that I take care of myself first and foremost — by setting energetic boundaries especially with those who are not looking out for themselves but are just on the lookout for where to dump their sad stories.
This, as I honor them for where they are in their journey and bless and thank them for gifting me with the opportunity to practice self-love.
⭐ ❤ 😀 ❤ ⭐