“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” said Albert Einstein. Have you seen that quote? I’m sure you have, as it’s very popular. I’ve seen it a million times and have always loved it. I felt empowered and energized by it. It has inspired me to try to do things differently. Today however, it has left a sour taste in my mouth. Today as I read it, I’m thinking of my mother.
My mother continues to make the same choices regarding one of my siblings and expects a different result. Yet, for a staggering amount of years, she has only seen the same outcome…which isn’t a good one. Not only does she continue to make the same choices expecting a different outcome, but I have followed suit. I believe in my mother and her choices. I run to my mom’s aid, only to be disappointed again and again.
What do you do with someone you love, who continues to make the same choices and expect a different outcome? Maybe the first few times you go along with it, believing that things will be different. You can help and give your support. At what point do you step in and say that you can no longer support their choices? It’s not easy. Whether it’s your parent, sibling, or just a good friend – the decision to choose the bigger picture and long term health of someone over their immediate choices isn’t an easy mountain to climb. You aren’t only considering the impact of their choices on them but you have to consider how it impacts you. Are their choices causing you to make unhealthy choices? Are you running around plugging holes in a dam on their behalf or are you finding a long-term solution?
It requires a conversation and action. The conversation requires honesty and love. It requires a long-term solution. What choices are just a temporary fix and what choices serves the greater good? What’s the most loving, solution oriented plan? I don’t know the answer for my mother. I do know this – the situation requires support. It requires getting different perspectives and talking with others that help you see beyond the immediate crisis. Through the support of others, you might find a new solution.
Getting support, having this conversation, creating steps for a resolution and taking action, may be the most loving thing you can do for yourself and the other person.