Do you ENABLE or EMPOWER?

by Rod Smith

He or she who enables

1. Lies, covers-up, runs interference, for the enabled.
2. Feels over-burdened or rewarded with responsibility for the enabled.
3. Feels like he or she is living more than one life each day; as if the choices (good and bad) of the enabled are his or her responsibility.
4. Endures “borrowed” anxiety – bears anxiety about choices made by the enabled.
5. Seems unable to see the “self” as disconnected to the self of the enabled, and will often see this connection as “oneness” or love, or a soul-tie, or the “oneness of marriage” making the enabling somehow inescapable.

He or she who empowers

1. Learns to allow others to speak for themselves (“I will not lie for you. If you have to call in as sick when you really are hung-over you will have to make that call yourself.”)
2. Understands the critical distinction between being responsible to others and for others.
3. Learns to allow most choices (not all) of those he or she loves and their consequences to run their course.
4. Learns to distinguish between helpful pain, useful anxiety, and what is and is not legitimate cause for concern.
5. Works at healthy, necessary separation, even while being married, in love, or having soul-ties.

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