I Am No Longer Responsible

“I will no longer pour into a cup with a hole in the bottom!”  I frustratingly made that bold declaration after at least 30 minutes of giving some of my best advice to someone who was determined not to hear me.  I thought to myself, “Why should I keep giving the best of me from my reservoir of experience and wisdom when the very person that needs it is not interested in receiving it?”  With that, I dismissed that individual from my presence and allowed the weight that I carried on my their behalf to fall off of my shoulders.

| I Am No Longer Responsible |

For those of you who know me personally or have gotten to know me by following my blogs, you are aware that I am a giver, lover, and nurturer.  It is somehow in my genetic makeup to lend myself to people even if there really isn’t anything left to give.  If I have a dollar and you don’t, I’ll give you my dollar.  If I have a shirt and you don’t, I’ll give you my shirt.  I won’t continue with examples, but know that there are very few things that I won’t do for someone that I care for.

Today I am going to get straight to the point; I’m too tired to beat around bushes, trees, or shrubbery. 

People naturally gravitate towards me for guidance and advice, and for that I am grateful.  It is a powerful thing to have influence with people, and that is something that I don’t take lightly.  With that said, I had a particular young lady come to me seeking my advice.  She told me her versions of the story concerning her situation and asked me what I thought.  Here’s the kicker, she assumed that I was going to automatically agree with her point of view.  Uh, no!  After asking if she was sure she wanted my advice, I told her THE TRUTH!  She was wrong!  I quickly learned that she favored being right over being helped. 

In another example, I have a loved one who is determined to avoid living her best life.  I ONLY hear from her when she is in trouble.  As a matter of fact, helping her usually is a surprise occurrence because she never calls me from the same phone number twice.  I typically receive a call, text, or message right after life has fallen all the way apart, and I am needed to put the pieces back together again.  On countless occasions, I have dropped everything to spend several hours on the phone doing everything from encouraging her to praying the prayer of salvation with her.  I will talk until I am physically, mentally, and emotionally drained.  Each conversation ends with, “Thanks, Sis.  I hear you.  I’m going to do better.”  About 8 to 10 months later, I receive that faithful phone call confirming that “better” didn’t last long.

I am sure that I am not alone in this scenario.  You too may have that loved one or friend who, no matter how much you pour into them, is never full.  That is because somewhere in their makeup is a hole, and it is causing everything you deposit to leak right out of them.  Have you ever put air in your tire but hours later it seems flat again?  That’s how some of our loved ones are.  It will seem like they really got the point until later you see them empty again.  That is more like a slow leak.  Then there are those who never even retain what you’re pouring at all…even in the moment that you are pouring it.

Y’all, that is tiring!

“…Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.

Matthew 7:6

Translation: Stop giving what is good to people who won’t appreciate it.  They’ll walk all over it and then you!

THE MORAL OF THE STORY

I almost feel like I don’t need a moral of the story; just read the translation!

I don’t know whether or not you were waiting for permission or clearance to push back from that person who isn’t interested in changing, but I have granted you permission.  Yes honey, by the power vested in me, I now pronounce you free to drop that weight.  You my friend are not a superhero.  Sure, #WakandaForever, but you aren’t the Black Panther or any of the other Avengers. 

Here is a quick list of things that you no longer have to do:

  • You don’t have to keep picking people up when they are down if they like being down.
  • You don’t have to convince anyone that they are better than the situation they are in especially if they enjoy the reality of that situation more than the possibility of better.
  • You don’t have to deprive yourself of any more sleep or time for people who enjoy wasting it.

I’ll digress for now.

I have learned in my short 29 years and 9 months that some people don’t want help, they want your attention, and I have been taught that the best way to get some children to stop acting out is to ignore them.  That may mean that you don’t answer every time that damsel in distress calls.  Maybe you can’t be the first responder all the time.  You may just have to close your personal ATM.  Am I saying leave your loved ones high and dry?  No, I am not.  I am saying it is quite alright to offer your best advice, keep them in your prayers, and leave it and them in God’s hands.

P.S. Mama said if they call you and you don’t answer, they’ll probably find someone else to call.  Try calling back in a few days, and I’ll bet you their problem is just as solved!

Repeat after me:

“I will no longer pour into cups with a hole in the bottom!”

You are now free to pour into purposeful people who will be filled and fill others. 

So when I can see clearly that someone is only interested in draining me dry, I resolve that I am no longer responsible.

I hope this helps.
-Chris

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