Trying to Fix Things?


Are you often trying to ‘fix’ things for others? If you can’t resist ‘fixing’ even when situations are not fixable (by you anyway), you may have a case of “higher-power-itis”. That’s when you think you are the only one who knows ‘what needs to happen’. The problem is you can’t know what is best for someone else. The only power you have to change things is in your own life. Even that is often sketchy at best. The challenge is how to manage your anxiety as you face the truth of your helplessness.

Here’s the tip. First, make a commitment to be compassionate to yourself. Look inside for an image of the child you were…the child who faced disaster way too early and way too alone. Something was amiss with the big people around you. They were not treating you or themselves right. Reach across time now and tell that little one that you, their grown up self from the future, want her/him to know she/he is not alone anymore. You see what happened, it wasn’t okay, but it wasn’t her/his fault or job to fix it. Allow sad, mad, scared feelings to move, briefly. (If numb, seek professional support). Hold yourself in your own arms. Breathe. Feel your heart soften and open. Let this be real. You are safe now and off duty!

Finally, remember, vivid images register as real for the brain whether they happened or not. that this healing connection between you and your inner child now is what actually helped you survive then! Repeat as necessary!

Penelope Young Andrade, LCSW


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