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Don’t Take People’s Weight Off Their Shoulders: There Is No Growth Without Struggle

You Deserve More Than A Toxic Partner Who Manipulates Your Emotions

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always done everything I could to be there for people. To lend a hand to everyone in need. Not only friends and family. But also people who were desperate for help. People who struggled in life. People who needed guidance. People who couldn’t deal with life on their own.

I was there for them. I was there to listen to their problems. I was there to hold their hand. I was there to wipe their tears. I was there to pat them and let them know that everything is going to be alright. I was there to show them the way. To lead them in darkness. To give them my counsel. To help them make the right choice. To encourage them to follow their dreams. To support them on their journey. To pick them up when they felt too weak to do it themselves. To assist, cheer, uplift,  inspire, and motivate them in any way I could.

I was their guardian angel. I was everything to every single one of them. 

And for a pretty long time, that made me happy. Being there for them, helping all of those people, leading them, advising them, knowing that someone can rely on me for anything, made me feel appreciated and love. It made me feel like my presence can really make a difference in a person’s life and my actions can indeed change someone’s life for the better…

Until one day I realized that even though it felt nice to be validated this way, I was hurting myself. I was putting myself last. I was becoming a martyr. A person who would sacrifice their own wellbeing and their own happiness for others.

Don’t Take People’s Weight Off Their Shoulders: There Is No Growth Without Struggle

What’s more, I realized that what I thought was helping people was actually harming them, but in a very indirect way.

I did not intend to make it harder for them. The only thing I’ve always wished for is to help others.

But as time passed I became aware that the more I try to take people’s weight off their shoulders, the more I actually pulled them away from their struggles. And even though that seemed helpful, it wasn’t. Being always there for them instead of letting them cope on their own didn’t make them stronger. In fact, it made them even weaker… It made them feel more afraid, more incompetent, more confused, and more lost than ever.

And it took away their power.

That’s was the moment when I decided to stop. To stop guarding them, to stop solving their issues, to stop helping them fly, to stop fixing their mistakes, and just let them experience their struggles in their own way.

Because at the end of the day… It is true what they say…

Without the dark, there is no light. Without rain, there is no sun. And without struggle, there is no growth or progress.

You can be there for people as a supportive ear or a shoulder to cry on. You can be there as their lover, their friend, or their entire world, but you have to let them go through their experiences on their own. You can try to help them, but in the end, they must face everything alone. They must feel every single emotion and live through that. They must take in everything that life confronts them with. And then, they must decide which road they are going to take. Whatever they choose, you cannot ever interfere. Because that isn’t and will never be your fight.

The only way they will ever grow and move forward is through their struggles and their hardships. The only way they will learn life’s precious lessons is through their battles. The only way they will become wiser, stronger, and braver is through their own experiences.

So, let them. Let them choose. Let them do it the harder way. Let them struggle. Let them wrestle their way in life. Let them defend themselves the best way they know. Let them face their fears and insecurities. Let them feel bad. Let them grow through what they go through…

In the end, it is all for their own good. They need the struggle…

Stephanie Reeds