Thank you for sharing your personal issue with me, (N.T.). When do we let go of someone who is self-destructive? Perhaps, the more important part of your question is HOW do we let go emotionally?
I have been thinking about this question a great deal since asked. Perhaps all of us have a situation in our life where things, despite our best efforts, are not going as planned. We have family members who have decided to “live their own life” in a way that seems so difficult and even destructive. We reach out to SAVE that person from themselves, only to be rejected despite continual worry, time and our problem solving attempts.
Letting go emotionally does not mean giving up. It can actually be one of the best solutions to such a situation.
It’s time to eliminate the idea that you can control others’ actions. We really only have control over ourselves and how we act. When a person chooses a destructive path, we have to recognize that they are free to choose for themselves. Unfortunately for them, those choices always bring tough consequences…and… those consequences can very well be the answer that we are looking for to help that person realize the poor choices that they are making and get back on track.
There is great wisdom is allowing people to face their consequences on their own. Our loving hearts get in the way of this at times. We want to help clean up the disaster that they have created because we love them, and see no other way. However, when we do this, we are enabling them to continue with poor choices, knowing that we will always be there to fix things. This is easier said than done. However, it is an important piece of changing poor behavior.
Accept things that you can not change. Your energy and efforts will be more productive spent towards the many others who need you, and are open to your support. Reassure yourself that you have done all that you can do.
There is great peace in turning things over to God. We forget sometimes, but every person on the rock is a son or daughter of God. He is the parent. He is aware of all of us, and is patiently letting us make these crazy decisions because it’s all part of our mortal journey of learning.
We can reassure that person that we love them, but disagree with their choices. It is also important to let them know that when it comes to their consequences, you have made a decision not to interfere…. Not out of the lack of love, but because of your love for them. Be strong in your decision. They named it tough love for a very good reason.
Another point realized is that we have to take care of ourselves as well. Being emotionally exhausted over something that we have little or NO control over is not healthy for you. You need to stay strong for the others who need you.
My prayers are with you. Your blog family will be praying for you as well. Be strong. Let things play out as God has organized. We are all learning… and some of us always seem to take the hardest route.