This past weekend my parents came to visit and somewhere in the midst of our dinner conversation my mom said "Well that's our daughter for you... always trying to fix things." Although it was meant to be humorous, I actually thought about that remark all weekend and couldn't shake it's truthfulness from my mind. I began reverting back to all the times in the past that I had tried to fix things. You see, it had always been my natural response to try and control the situation as best I could the minute things started to go wrong. There are people that try to run from unpleasant situations and bad times, and then there are those of us who stare at those situations face to face and try to change them. Now don't confuse what I'm saying with optimism and having a positive outlook on life. There is a big difference between being positive despite the situation, and trying to change an unpleasant situation.
If something bad started to happen in my life, I would try to fix it and make it good. It became a habit; a bad habit that I would later learn can damage some of the most important things in life.
Have you ever tried to change someone? And by change I mean try and fix them as you see needed. Maybe you are in a relationship where you are trying to fix the other person. Maybe you’re a parent and you’re trying to fix your child who is different than their peers, or fix your teenager who is embracing different beliefs than you. Maybe you’re trying to fix your friend who has gone off the deep end. Maybe you’re trying to fix your husband who seems to no longer care about life.
What was the outcome? Did you succeed in fixing them? Did you succeed in changing them to fit your expectations? Or tell me, did you end up damaging your relationship even more by making them feel uncomfortable and alienated? Your motives and intentions might have been in the right place, but the sad truth is that rarely can you actually fix a person. More times then not, you will end up pushing them farther away.
So maybe that's you. Maybe you've pushed them away and you're scared there's no coming back from the damage that has been done. You love them and you only wanted to help, but in reality your help turned into you trying to change them. Your motive was love. There is nothing wrong with that, except for one small thing that makes a big difference... Unconditional love.
It took me coming to the realization that there was seriously nothing I could do to fix that person. There was nothing I could do to change them. And it was at that moment, that I realized that all their broken pieces before me did not need to be changed or even fixed. They needed to be loved. It was like the time I saw my own broken pieces before me, and instead of changing them... I began to love them as is.
Unconditional love says "I love you no matter what you do, who you are, or where you end up in life." I spent so much time wanting to change them, when the real change that needed to happen took place in me. I began to simply and unconditionally love that person for who they are. When you give up the responsibility of trying to fix someone, when you release your grip and just love them, you allow God to take hold of them. After all, any change that is going to happen in that person is going to come from Him.
There's a saying that goes "You can't help somebody that doesn't want to be helped." You also can't fix somebody that doesn't want to be fixed. But guess what, you can love somebody no matter what.
Do what you can. God will do what you can't.