I am a fixer by nature. It is ingrained in the social work parts of my history. See a wound, name the wound, find the root cause of the wound, come up with a treatment plan for the wound, and take steps to repair the wound. It is one of my default life settings. It is a setting I have had to learn to get over and move beyond. When people believe they can fix you, they are trusting their own expertise and narrow understanding instead of recognizing the wholeness others already have within them.
Needing to fix and make life right warps HOW we see and interact with others.
I don’t need to be fixed. You don’t need to be fixed.
You Can’t Fix Me. I Can’t Fix You.
It is not my job to fix others. When I released my career in social work to become a full-time mother and then writer, I also needed to lay aside my default setting of needing to help others in their woundedness.
It is not my job to repair you. If we sat down together for any amount of time we would likely discover there is nothing even wrong with you.
This has not been easy for me. My history, my upbringing within the Evangelical Church, and my personality settings make it difficult for me to see differently. I am a high sensitive, high empathy. I can feel the pain and hurt of others deeply, but it isn’t my job to fix it.
When you come at people from the vantage point of needing to “fix them” or “HELP them” – you can’t meet them as equals. There will always be something wrong with someone. This is warped vision.
I learned this lesson when people have come at me needing to repair the choices my husband and I have made regarding: the church, our families, our children, and more.
- if you read this book… it would help.
- if you went to this church… we could help.
- if you stopped being so “bitter, unforgiving, wounded”… you would see.
- if you let go of your “resentment”… you could be healed.
- if you would have a conversation or go to therapy (therapy is so good when it is NOT being used as a weapon to get compliance)… you would understand better.
Do all of thee above and you will be WHOLE. LIVING CORRECTLY. WHAT WE DESPERATELY NEED YOU TO BE DAMMIT!
ALL REALLY IS WELL. WHY CAN’T YOU BELIEVE IT?
When people find out you do not go to church anymore their default reaction is to fix it for you: “Come visit my church. It is awesome.” Or they use the Christian go-to Bible verse meant to
shame convict you back into the pews, “Do not forsake the gathering….as some have been prone to do.” (If you use this please stop.)
Yes, I have forsaken gathering together – and I’m OK out here. Seriously. Why is this so hard for you to believe? I don’t need to prove it. If YOU need me to prove to you my choice is OK and I am not living in sin or warping my children for all eternity (any more than you are by staying), there is no deficit or lack then seriously this is ALL ABOUT YOU.
I am OK with my choices. I can live with the consequences.
God and I are tight…She is awesome. We had a long heart to heart this morning.
They will try all kinds of ways to HELP YOU make a BETTER CHOICE.
When I want to reply:
- Keep that book – I don’t need it. I have probably already read it.
- Another devotional on Jesus for the whole family – wow they will publish anything these days.
- Mentioning Jesus name more often is not going to inspire me to do anything. Jesus this. Jesus that. I get it, you love Jesus. I think he is great too.
As long as you are set on fixing others you will always fall short of recognizing their wholeness. They will never be complete enough for you.
As long as you act like you can make their life right for them if they simply follow these steps, or read this book, or have this conversation or show up to this building every Sunday- you will continue to view them from a perch above them. You aren’t sitting with them. You are not standing with them. Chances are you will completely miss all the things about them which do not require fixing or healing or help.
Often there is not anything wrong with someone in the first place.
What Church Taught Me About Helping Others
The place I learned the most about people’s deficiencies and our need to help them in their lack is the church.
Everywhere you turn they are helping – the homeless, addicts, the unsaved, the marginalized, singles, married couples, families, children, LBGTQ people, the community, the world, the Bobo tribe in some African nation, and people potentially being assaulted in Target restrooms.
Please let’s boycott people. Because that will fix them.
Seriously it is a giant gathering of HELPERS. All the helping. So much fixing happening.
I used to belong to a woman’s ministry whose theme was: “bring your hearts” so we can help you – love you – teach you, instruct you, save you, heal you. Bring your hearts so we can squash them?
YOU NEED US DAMMIT! We need you to need us?
What the world needs is not more fixers set on saving us from ourselves and our sin deficits, or hell.
What we desperately need are joygivers and peacemakers AND LOVE SPREADERS.
We need people who will sit down with us with the intention of seeing first and foremost our wholeness, our innate goodness, OUR LIGHT.
I don’t know about you, but I sure could use more joy-givers, genuine peacemakers, and love spreaders. I have certainly had enough of all the other kinds: joy-suckers, peaceFakers, and love hoarders.
I do not need another group of people telling me all the things I lack or all the ways I am living which are headed down a “slippery slope,” too liberal, heresy, unBiblical, dangerous, progressive, not Republican enough, bitter, unforgiving, and WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?!
The world points out my deficits on a daily basis. I do not need your help pointing out my “wretchedness” too.
I do not need anyone pursuing me simply because they believe I NEED HELP navigating my lack.
I don’t need you coming to me in friendship – despite what you find in me.
What we require are people who do not even focus on what others LACK. They are not hung up on the deficits because they are so blinded by the WHOLENESS of others.
I want to see the “Divine Spark” in you FIRST. I long for you to see the Imago Dei in me too.
I was taught by churched people my heart is desperately wicked. But my walks around the path, finding sleeping bees, watching the sunrise over frozen waters, and hours of silence spent before the Divine have taught me:
I do not need to be concerned with my lack when I have access to the depths of my completeness.
I am complete. I am LOVED. You are complete. You are LOVED.
Jesus said, “It is finished.”
Scripture says: God makes all things new.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart..”
The Book of Isaiah says, “I (God) am doing a new thing. Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Perhaps this new thing is not all the ways we need to FIX others or HELP them with our best intentions, but how we can stand together in our completeness, shoulder to shoulder moving forward as equals cultivating redemption in the world.
I don’t want your friendship because you are willing to love me despite my flaws. I want to walk hand in hand with you as friends because all you can see is my goodness, my joy, my riotous laughter and my love for life. And I want to offer that to you in return.
I don’t need you condemning my parenting choices or our decision to not engage family members in their rage – what I require is to sit across from you on the front porch in mutuality and understanding without pretense or judgment. Heart to heart matters. Being heard matters. There shouldn’t be room in our conversations for redacting info that makes us uncomfortable.
When you spend all your time focusing on the flaws of others don’t be surprised when the negative is all you are ABLE TO SEE.
When you live by the code of needing to fix or help – you miss the ability to deeply connect with people as equals.
If we spent more time being FOR the people around us instead of needing to FIX THEIR LIVES FOR THEM, OR HELPING THEM SEE THE DEFICITS THEY NEED TO WORK ON – we would have more joy, more authenticity, and more depth to our relationships.
We might find over time the more we focus on the completeness of those around us – the more we see their wholeness instead of their lack – the more we will be able to give ourselves and them the benefit of the doubt.
Giving the benefit of the doubt is something we need more and more of these days.
What do you think?
What relationship traps have you fallen into? Are you a helper or a fixer? In what ways could you approach your friendships and relationship differently?