I am guilty. I've dated guys that need help. Like serious help. Specifically my serious help. Or at least that is the story I have told myself that enables me to stay in a relationship that is...well...not a completely...ahem...healthy relationship. It's fun, at first...to feel like you are needed. To feel wise and smart. To feel like you are making a difference in someone else's life...but damn...it's hard work. And it's completely a selfless and underappreciated job, if you ask me.
I used to be the project girl...like all kinds.
I was fluent in betrayal projects. Guys that think that lying is ok, but calling them out on it is not. I have dabbled in verbally abusive projects. Guys that think it is fine to put you down, throw you under the bus to their friends or exes...call you names, label your behavior as controlling or crazy...all because they can't own their dysfunction and communicate appropriately. I have stepped into family dysfunction projects, where boundaries were so weak that ex wives would still walk into the home of my partners, unannounced, while I was there, and create chaos. My last project was all of these. Plus an addiction project. Shots of vodka at 8 am. You can see where this is going.
You see...what they all had in common was that I thought that if I loved them enough...loved them in a way they might never have felt before...that it would make a difference. That they would see my value...maybe step up and treat us better. That love would heal all of the sad stories, the abusive childhoods, the depression. And when that didn't happen, I would love more. Because...well..who doesn't need more love?
OK..don't answer that.
What I failed to realize was that someone else's addiction, lack of boundaries, constant lying or (fill in the blank with any number of dysfunctional behaviors), really has nothing to do with me. The way someone talks about me behind my back or about me after a parting, the way someone treats me, the way someone ignores me...it's not really even about me. The lying, the cheating, the drinking, the drugs...none of it. I can't stop it and I can't reason with it. But what's important to remember...we are still solid. We always have been and will always continue to be. But this behavior...this dysfunction...it's not. So don't pick it up. Don't even, for a minute, take that shit on as your own.
Leave that project alone.
That project...their journey...it's their bullshit. (or if we want to be more compassionate..it's their healing). When we continually shift our focus to someone else, we forget about our own inner work which is screaming at us to pay attention to. We lose sight of what we really are wanting, really are needing, that they never had the capacity to provide us anyway. Because that goodness comes from within, girl. It's time to boss up.
When we focus on someone else who is having...eh...life issues, we end up wasting our precious talents. We end up wasting our beauty on darkness in the small hope that they might one day wake up and actually see how amazing you are and how amazing you both could have been together...if only they would have gotten their shit together.
Count on them not. And go forward with you. Because the last thing we need is another unfixable project.