Feeling broken inside is an inexplicable experience, and it's something I wish would never happen to anyone. However, it's also inevitable.
Life can be ruthless and terrifying when we go through certain experiences. It can feel like falling into a black abyss of despair and helplessness. And you would never wish for anyone to be in that situation.
The worst thing is that you can't even contemplate why you even feel that way, especially when everything in your life is so complete and smooth-sailing.
You just feel hollow and lonely. You're as good as an empty shell, completely devoid of emotions.
Lately, I've been thinking hard about whether or not you can truly fix a person who feels this way, especially by using love. The fundamental basis of adulthood is thinking about issues you never did before. So far, it has been a wild ride for me with many ups and downs.
Essentially, I have gained a whole new perspective on love.
I always thought that being there for my loved ones when they were at their lowest was mandatory. And in a way, I should be "rescuing" them out of love. Unfortunately, that mindset is utterly wrong.
When someone I cared deeply for was in pain, I would drop everything in a heartbeat because his or her pain was now my top priority. Whatever I was doing paled in comparison because I needed to tend to my loved one ASAP.
I felt that loving someone meant giving them the whole package, from being there for them to even fixing them. Instead, on top of not being able to "fix" my loved ones, I ended up getting hurt. That rendered me helpless and heartbroken.
When my efforts just weren't paying off, I got frustrated with myself. The process of trying to fix someone involves setting clear expectations, but when they are going unmet, things just get really difficult.
I felt that I was a disappointment, and eventually, I started to analyze every possible solution to fix the person. It became obsessive. And this stress inadvertently caused friction in the relationship.
I resented and questioned them when things weren't working out. I blamed them for completely wasting my time, despite knowing that they weren't at fault.
The other party became my priority to the extent that their needs trumped everything else in my life. I also started to lose my identity. It had to stop.
It is certainly tough to see your loved ones broken. And of course, it's humane to offer a helping hand. We are, after all, emotional creatures. It makes sense we'd do anything in our power for them, even take their place.
But the truth is, you just can't fix them.
Trying to fix a broken person means giving empty promises. You can't really do much without breaking yourself in the process, over and over again. Don't commit yourself to something from which you ultimately can't get results.
Instead, give them attention and be a good listener. Leave them alone when they tell you to. Don't pressure them to talk when they are not ready. Give them space but assure them that your doors are open for them whenever they are ready.
Be aware of the fact that helping compulsively can eventually evolve into trying to fix someone. Helping can become addictive and unhealthy. Our understanding of love gets tainted and just looks like an endless loop of "always giving."
Personally, I always wanted to be the "knight in shining armor" or "the person to depend on" for all my loved ones. I took pride in the many extra miles I went for them. However, loving a person who is broken sometimes involves walking away and saying no.
You wouldn't want the person to become overly reliant on you and become even more broken when you can't meet his or her emotional needs. It's difficult and seems cruel, but it's also necessary.