About taking a step back when you want to charge in headfirst

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February 2, 2017 by Sera

This is something I’m not good at. Taking a step back. I find it hard not to do what my heart tells me, which is almost funny, considering my personality suggests I’m more of a thinker, an over thinker even. And I won’t deny that I am but there are many situations where I need to think twice before I take action because if I acted on instinct or how I feel all the time I would get myself into more than trouble than some of these situations are probably worth and sometimes doing what I feel I want to do may not be the best thing to do, especially when it concerns another person.

This week there have been a few situations like this, mostly at work and luckily I have managed to take a smarter course of action in most cases but what happened yesterday has nothing to do with work but concerns someone I care about deeply.

Without going into any detail, it is what I would call a crisis. One of those things most people would never expect to happen to them in a million years and then it just punches you in the stomach (I imagine it might have actually felt a bit like that to this person).

And even though it is one of those ‘time will tell’ situations that has the potential to go either way, you just cannot help but worry what might happen.

So here is how I normally deal with a crisis if it is one that concerns me.

I despair, I struggle, I overthink and if I can I talk (or write) about it.

Then, at some point my fighting spirit sets in and I charge in headfirst. This is what I need to do when it’s me that is in trouble because taking action is better than doing nothing at all.

This is essentially the best course of action for ME in those situations and it has served me well in the past even if it often took some time for the benefits to show.

This is me though and not everyone is like me and so I find myself in a situation where what I want to do is, well, do something. Pick up the phone and talk through the issue, get on a train and be there right by their side through all of this, defend and fight for them.

Because when I care, when someone has made their way into my heart, that is what I want to do, be a fierce warrior for them, be strong for them if they can’t right now and help in whatever way I can, be that holding their hand, providing as many hugs as they need or just listening.

But as I said, not everyone is like me and as hard as this is for me, I find myself in a situation where what is best for the other person is probably not what I would like to do.

They need to process what has happened, probably get over the shock and try to find the balance in themselves they had before their world got turned upside down.

They may not feel like talking to me right now, they may not feel like answering questions I would ask just to understand what has happened.

It is not me who needs to understand, really. It is them. And maybe, just maybe, they need to have their weak moments without anyone seeing them.

Maybe they are scared and any assurances I could give are pointless anyway because there really is nothing I can do about the situation itself.

So I struggled for the last 24 hours and, having as much empathy as I do, I could not help but imagine what they must be feeling and that in turn makes me feel like I need to do something but I ignored the impulse to do more than just letting them know that I’m here if they need me.

For me this is not easy but really, this is not about me, this is about them and if some distance is what they need right now, then who am I to deny them that?

I had to take that step back, as hard as it was, because as much as I would like that, I cannot fix everything.

All I can do is support them and sometimes that is anything but charging in headfirst.

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