Ever met or been a smother mother?
Guilty as charged. I did not have one, so to over compensate (as you do) when my children were born, I became one! Just another little area of emotional recovery I am still working on. Maybe you can relate?
Learning the difference between offering heartfelt help and enabling (via consistent RESCUING) is important for our self-preservation and in preventing codependency.
When we are in enabling RESCUE mode we have an emotional investment in the outcome, we are attached and hindering growth not helping.
We attach to people, places and outcomes when we are afraid and in need. Sometimes our need is to be needed. As a recovering smother mother I can certainly share from years of experience in RESCUING rather than helping.
If we have a heart wound from our past about being left out, invisible, dismissed or not good enough we come from a place of fear and emptiness. RESCUERS keep those they are trying to help trapped by their smothering in a state of helplessness. Or if we’ve been in desperate need of help ourselves in times of crises, but no one showed up, seeing another helpless soul can be an unbearable memory trigger.
Rebelling from or conforming to our past is often where our enabling RESCUERS behaviour stems from. Being internally driven through past fears, not wanting to be like our mother, father or caregivers who perhaps were not helpful keeps us emotionally chained to a state of codependency. So it is helpful for us to remember not to confuse attachment and RESCUING with love.
RESCUING is about fear and codependency, and has more to do with meeting our emotional needs short term, than what is best in the long term for the other. Helping another without our ego’s attachment is the purest form of humanitarian love because it is not about what it will give us because we are empty and wounded.
Helping is about what we can freely give to others because our hearts cup is already full and we require nothing, not even thanks in return. We enable powerlessness when we RESCUE others from the responsibility of doing things they can and must eventually learn to do for themselves. When we enable others (believing we are protecting them) we remove the natural consequences of human behaviour and prevent healthy emotional maturity.
So putting right any wrongs or confusion we have when it comes to what is truly helpful and what hinders emotional growth makes an immense difference. Helping shed light allowing others to see then do for themselves. So let us ensure we are helping not hindering the growth of those we love?
The Dalai Lama reminds us to ….
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck”
Lotsa love from a once unhelpful recovering smother mother …. Cynthia xxx
© Copyright 2016 Cynthia J. Morton Emotional Fitness™
Image Source – Modern Family