Enabling is “making excuses for someone who is hurting themselves or you, or providing the perfect environment or situation for them to do so.
That word is a slippery slope for many, and if you are someone who “enables” someone else, then you become “co-dependent.” That is, your existence is based around the behavior of the person you are enabling.
It’s exhausting just thinking about it, yet we’ve all done it in some capacity in our lives; until we realize that the outcome of “enabling” and being “co-dependent” doesn’t’ serve the one we’re enabling, but serves only the “co-dependents” need to control. I’ve found that those who “enable” have no control over their own lives’, or so they believe. They would rather control someone else’s life rather than deal with their own insecurities and lack of control. And the sad part is, they don’t even see what they’re doing as control; they see it as “love.” Yet that’s not love. Controlling someone is not love. Enabling someone to hurt themselves or other’s is not love. It’s their insecurity and lack of control.
You can enable an alcoholic or drug addict by making excuses for them, giving reasons for their addiction, and without realizing that you are giving them exactly what they need to use or abuse. It may make you feel more comfortable, yet is the most damaging and hurtful behavior to them.They can only begin recovery when you stop enabling and allow the to be accountable for themselves.
You enable an abusive partner or spouse by making excuses as to why you’re bruised, why your self-esteem is but a foreign concept, and why you deserved to be abused. You’re not helping the abuser to stop, but merely giving him the license and free will to do so. It’s only when you get strong and secure within yourself that you’re able to break free and control YOUR behavior, not theirs.
It’s not until you are faced with the ultimate decision: enable the behavior or disable your control. And the truth is, no enabler really has control over the enabled; you just give them a comfort zone of knowing you’ve allowed their destructive behavior to be okay.
It’s hard to let someone you love make a mistake or willingly harm themselves, yet it has to be their choice and, ultimately, their decision to stop the destructive behavior. You can say all the right things, do all the right things, and want all the right things, yet that doesn’t make it so. You have to “love them enough to let them go.” Love them enough to make their own mistakes and learn from them. Love them enough to learn to control their own behavior. Love them enough to let them learn to love themselves.
“Enabling” someone will not solve their problem; it will make their problem worse.
You have to ask yourself: Do I want to enable their behavior or disable my control?.
And in your heart you already know the right answer.
Wishing you love and light,