Listening with Love #3:
I have realised I suffer from saviour complex and have become more aware of its adverse impact on my well-being and those around me.
Whenever I was teased earlier about this complex, I laughed it off, almost priding myself on possessing a virtue. But of late, it is revealing itself in its monstrosity and stealing my peace and happiness.
I read this, 'I am drawn to damaged or toxic people because I am trying to rescue the part of myself that was abused as a child.' This opened up a lot of my past and felt very true.
I am sharing this here because I feel it is a safe space where I may get support to work on this and overcome the barriers it brings along.
Look forward to your thoughts and suggestions on how to work on this.
Today, worrying over a friend who is losing a job, I went overboard in trespassing protocols and making a recommendation for her, almost incurring the wrath of the person I recommended to. That shook something within and was the wake-up call to correct this disorder I have been nursing for a long long time.
Work in Progress
Worrying over a friend who is losing her job means I am not peaceful inside. Whatever action we generally take when we are not peaceful from the inside is not considered to be the right action as it comes from some preconditioning within me.
Helping someone can be really beautiful if it's being done purely to help them and it is really helpful for them. It should never be about us. But often, we help ourselves in the name of helping someone else, which may be done knowingly or knowingly. E.g., if I am looking for a feel-good factor and assure myself to be a good person, then actually, it's about me, not about the other person. Or I want to show others how helpful I really am. We must be able to see within us what exactly is the case.
So before we help someone, we must first be peaceful, and we must enquire, is it about the other person or me? This inquiry will help a lot.
I am sensing in you a need to support and contribute to the well-being of another person you see in distress, thereby often emerging as the 'rescuer' in the situation.
You are beginning to see this need to 'rescue' as a strategy to possibly meet your own unmet need of being supported and cared for. You're drawing on your awareness that your actions are a projection of what you seek for yourself.
In the moment, it feels like you're wanting to have a boundary and balance between your need to contribute and your need for self-love, acceptance and care. Like Listener #1 mentioned, you may need to get in with your intention to rescue - what is the underlying need there?
Is it that being the rescuer makes you feel worthy? Is it something that helps you meet your need for connection, for validation, to be seen and heard, to matter?
The invitation would be to bring to your awareness what are those unmet needs and think of other strategies to meet those needs. What resources can you draw from within to feel worthy? To matter, to feel a sense of connection and inclusion? Do you feel that you will only be valued or loved if you 'rescue' and not otherwise?
If so, then you may want to remind yourself that you're perfect, whole and complete from within and do not need anyone's validation - you matter, and you belong as a divine child of God in your own right.
I feel the answer will reveal itself to you when you check with your intention deep within.
Hope you find your answer and the path you need to traverse 🙏
Dear Work in Progress,
I resonate so much with what you're sharing about your savior complex and its impact on your well-being. So hugs first.🤗
For the longest time, I was likelier to befriend someone who needed my help somehow - who needed to be saved. I would think of them as being paavam. And then I would sooner than later leave these relationships because they were exhausting and one-sided.
And it's not like this someone couldn't offer me emotional support or help me back; I just never gave them enough chances to. I never expressed how it was exhausting to be the only one to ask questions and tend to their needs. I also never expressed my own needs clearly nor allowed them to be there for me. I never expressed the parts of me that are vulnerable, weak, struggling and not so fun.
And it can often be really awkward to ask for what you want because we may not think of ourselves as worthy of that. But it's helped me to see that so many more people than we give credit for being willing to hear us out and do the work for this relationship to be whole for us as well. :)
Also, doing the work of self-compassion (not self-pity or self-hate) has helped me discover my boundaries and bandwidth, which means I can identify who I can listen to, for long and how often.
Also, doing the work of self-compassion means showing ourselves the mirror to say the world, in general, will not fall apart without us. Other people are also whole and capable, just like you.
While I was busy feeling like I was betraying my students for quitting my job, my friend very sweetly said, 'Hey, when a teacher I loved left my school, I was really sad, but another teacher came along, and I loved them too. I still loved the first one, but I was happy learning even without them. Your students will be fine.' I needed the sweetest, tightest slap to wake up from my unconscious belief that my students would suffer without me.😬
These are just some thoughts and feelings, Work in Progress. You're calling yourself just what you are, so I'm sure you will be able to hold space for yourself to take one step at a time.🍃
Also sharing this gem with you, Work in Progress.🌸
About Listening with Love
As a group of community weavers, we have been wondering what it would mean for everyone in the group to share our worries, challenges, joys and fears here with vulnerability and honesty while feeling safe and not feeling the burden of having to reveal ourselves to the group. These may be questions, thoughts or feelings about the past, present, or future; about ourselves, our loved ones or strangers.
Hence, we are starting a new thread called "Listening with Love" to help community members find perspectives on their situation.
If you have something on your mind, you are welcome to share it with us using this form. We will tap into our community's compassion and wisdom on your behalf.