Note: I updated this post in November 2018 because this is such an important issue and I want to give you more resources and insight.
This is something I see come up all the time with people who are on a path of spiritual and personal growth — I’ve done it too. When you’re experiencing beautiful shifts and miracles, you often want to help others.
But we have to be careful, because there’s a fine line between supporting others and trying to “fix” them. This is something that has been on my mind lately as I’ve seen new readers discover my book Judgment Detox and begin to lovingly witness their own judgment and heal it.
If you ever try to fix other people’s problems or make yourself responsible for their happiness, I hope the tips I offer in this post will help you to release that need.
You can watch the original video I recorded below, and keep reading for a breakdown of what I teach in it (plus new lessons).
We can’t fix other people’s problems
A friend was telling me about how she was visiting a very close friend of hers. This friend was going through a tough time, and when my friend left, she felt this heavy weight on her. She felt a responsibility to make sure her friend was okay. She also felt inadequate because she couldn’t solve her friend’s problems.
I told her, “You can’t be responsible for another person’s happiness.”
This can be really hard at times, especially if you’re a nurturing person or just deeply love the person who’s struggling. You want to be the fixer. You want to help them find the solution, make smart choices and see the light.
It might even feel selfish NOT to intervene and take care of things. After all, aren’t friends and loved ones supposed to support each other?
Yes, of course.
But there’s a difference between loving and supporting someone and trying to fix their problems and make them happy. One you can do. The other you simply cannot. Everyone is responsible for their own happiness. And, in fact, trying to take on the responsibility of another person’s happiness can hurt them in the long run and deprive them of miracles.
3 steps to follow when you want to fix other people’s problems
When you feel the urge to be the fixer, follow the three steps I outline below. You’ll feel immediate relief. You can release the need to be responsible for another person’s happiness. The weight will be lifted and you’ll be able to show up for your loved one AND yourself.
Step 1: Remember that other people have their own guidance system
Everyone has their own guidance system, whatever it is they believe in — whether that’s intuition, angels, spirit guides, the Universe or God. Even if they don’t believe, there is a guidance that we believe in that we have to trust is protecting them and guiding them. Have faith in other people’s guidance systems.
Step 2: Recognize you can’t deprive someone of hitting bottom
I learned this a long time ago. You don’t want to deprive somebody of their bottom. Every one of us has experienced turning points in our lives. These are opportunities to pivot, to hit our knees and fully surrender. When you try to fix someone else, you just get in the way of their potential to experience this miracle. I want to encourage you to really own that you are not here to deprive anyone of their bottom. Give them the chance to experience exactly what they need to experience, and don’t be afraid of it.
Step 3: Know that you can’t change anyone who doesn’t want to be changed
We have to be conscious of the fact that it’s not our responsibility to change, or heal, or help, or resurrect anyone from their own issues and feelings. We have to trust that no one will change until they want to be changed. When they’re ready for that change to come into their life, then you’ll be there. You’ll be able to show up for them when they’re ready to show up for themselves.
What you CAN do for others instead of trying to fix them or make them happy
While you can’t fix someone else or be responsible for their happiness, here’s what you can do.
In this process, while you’re allowing them to experience what they need to experience, and trusting that they’re being guided, just give yourself this opportunity to be in prayer for them.
You can pray for them to have it be gentle when they hit bottom, and for them to receive very clear direction when it happens. Send them a lot of love, set positive intentions for them and speak positively about them when you’re not with them. Trust in the power of your intentions and your prayer, and know that they are enough.
Finally, if someone you love does come to you asking for help, there are some resources you can share. I include some resources around addiction recovery in this post and at the bottom of this post. I also share some resources for anxiety and mental health in this post. But just remember that you can’t coax, guilt or force anyone to take action.
The most loving thing we can do for someone is to accept them
As I teach in Step 4 of my book Judgment Detox: The most loving thing we can do for someone is to accept them. The most unloving thing we can do is try to change them. When you try to change someone you’re effectively saying that you know what is best for them. Your unsolicited “help” is a way of controlling and judging them. People may not be show up the way you want them to, but when you accept them where they are you can let go, forgive and release.
If someone wants to change and asks for your help, you can show up and offer support. But it’s not helpful, kind or loving to try to impose change on anyone. When we invite spirit in through prayer we return to our right mind and find acceptance. A Course in Miracles teaches that spirit accepts and the ego analyzes. Spirit accepts what is true, which is that we are all love.
Accepting someone doesn’t mean you stick around
Accepting others where they are and forgiving them doesn’t mean that you let someone walk all over you. It doesn’t have to mean that you endorse what they’re doing. It means you allow them to be where they are and you don’t try to change them.
Sometimes when we accept someone for who they are, all we can do is accept them and move on from our relationship with them. We can say, “I accept you and I honor you, but I can’t be a part of this.”
Important note: If you are in an abusive relationship, visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline online or call 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224.
For more guidance on what it truly means to accept and forgive, check out this blog post on forgiveness.
Accepting others gives you freedom, too
By consistently practicing to accept someone where they are and see them with compassion, you realign with your true love nature. Through acceptance you release the resistance you’ve placed within your relationship, clearing the way for healing and for you to access more loving thoughts and feelings.
When you change your thoughts and feelings about another person, you change your energy toward them. The other person will receive your shift in energy and feel released by you. Best of all, your shift in energy gives you momentum to continue releasing judgment so you can feel complete and free. Acceptance offers you this freedom.
Release judgment with my free mini course!
I made a free mini course that guides you through three core practices of my book Judgment Detox. One of the practices is a beautiful prayer that will help you release the desire to fix someone or be responsible for their happiness.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve read Judgment Detox, you’re in the middle of it or you haven’t started it yet. You can start the Mini Course today and experience beautiful benefits.