Put People in Charge of their Own Stuff! (1/14/22)

Last week I challenged you to “clean out your junk drawer thinking” and identify the negative attitudes, beliefs and behaviors we all carry around … those that can keep us from being our best, make us doubt ourselves and add stress and anxiety to our lives. That’s definitely an ongoing project and I encourage you to press on! Then if you’re still feeling overloaded, ask yourself WHY. Maybe it’s time to put other people in charge of their own stuff. It sounds quite simple, but it’s often hard to do.

We know that most adults are quite capable of taking responsibility for their attitudes and behaviors. Others can go an entire lifetime without taking responsibility for anything at all. They have too much emotional baggage –
too much “stuff” to manage on their own. So they search until they find someone to unload on – usually without the other person’s consent.

Are there people in your life who need to take ownership of their own stuff ? Once you’ve identified them (and it’s not too difficult to do), ask yourself a couple of questions. Why are you still carrying their stuff for them? When did their problems become your problems?? Maybe you feel sorry for them. Or they’ve become pros at whining and complaining that life isn’t fair. Or they’ve managed to make you feel guilty about the good choices and wise decisions you’ve made, or you’re having trouble standing up to them.

Does that make sense? What’s it costing you in terms of money, time, worry, stress, anger and/or frustration to continue to be responsible for someone else’s “junk drawer thinking”? How much longer are you willing to do that? How much longer can you afford to do that?

I’m not talking about abandoning those in need. There will always be people who need our help – temporarily or for the long haul. When others are going through a difficult time it’s our duty as human beings to do whatever we can to help. Thankfully, God has filled our world with compassionate and caring people who are ready and willing to help others, to listen, and to be there for them. Those are not the people I’m talking about.

I’m asking you to focus on the people in your life who can help themselves but choose not to – those who have passed their stuff (poor choices, bad decisions and the ensuing problems) on to you. Oh, and let’s not forget about whiners and complainers! I call them the “little grey raincloud people.” They remind me of those who show up for a holiday family meal and bring nothing to share. Then they complain about the food.

You probably have at least one of them in your life – a family member, friend, co-worker, colleague, neighbor, club member or volunteer committee member. No matter how hard you try to remain positive and even try to help, you eventually come to understand that they really don’t want your help. They don’t want to change. It’s easier to whine, complain and blame others.

So here’s my question to you this week: What is ONE step you can take now to lighten your load and put certain people in charge of their own stuff? The Good News is that when you stop taking care of them, you’ll have more time to take better care of YOU!

Until next week … be well!


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