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There are people in this world, with me included, who live their lives by fighting the problems of others. In a world that is broken and searching for relief from the difficulties of everyday life, we walk through wanting to be the knights in everyone else's stories.
For those repairmen in this world, it’s not a life that we necessarily chose. Naturally enough, we know we have the strength to spare after fighting our battles. It’s not an easy life, and it can be a draining way of living.
We help a lot, but there is a problem with seeing others as a project to be fixed. Not everyone is looking for someone to help, and so we must find the balance between altruism and self-care.
It’s Rewarding and Painful
For the fixers of the world, we all have that story of retribution and success. When we go out into the world, we are looking to be the shoulder to lean on, and so that is what we find. However, there is usually one story, one that is greater than all the rest that shows that, despite what some might say, being willing to help is a fantastic quality to have. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have those that will never understand you and your way of living.
For those who don’t understand us, there is a pain for us that comes along with it. Being in a state of constant care brings a vulnerability that is easy to poke at. To allow for others to open up about their problems takes a certain amount of personal openness that not everyone will let themselves to have.
In the times in which it doesn’t work, the bearer of the troubles has a free shot to the heart of the fixer, and oftentimes they will take it. Yes, it can be seen as a sign of weakness or even an annoying quirk, but it’s our last stand.
It’s the last stand of the hearts that are big enough to not only calm one’s own quarrels, but to be there to cushion the impact for others.
For those who have a steady hold on this trait, they have realized that their needs to be a balance. You can’t pick and pry at the problems of others, but rather let the issues come to you. If someone does not choose the path to speak their peace with you, you must allow them to struggle on their own.
For those that do find the comfort in us though, it does not take long for them to talk a mile a minute and divulge the problems they are facing.
The Medicine: Listening
There is one and only one medicine that we use to help others in their life; listening. There is a lack of listening in this world, and the problem is that everyone wants their voice to be heard. Difficulties, on almost any occasion, are sourced at the inability to have one’s voice heard.
And so, when we look to be a fixer in the world, we seek to listen; we aim to truly listen.
What too many people don’t understand is that there are levels of listening. There is complete disinterest, having a half ear, active listening, and full submersion in the words of someone else. To be absolutely submerged in the words of others is a skill and art that not many practice.
For the last year of my life, I have been personally on a journey to learn how to listen. I am 22, and I have always considered myself a good listener, but over the past year, I have learned that there is a level that is unlike any other.
When you find this level of listening, you quickly understand what it means. The problem is, once you find it, you begin to realize how little others actually do it.
To open your ears and allow yourself to take a ride on the roller coaster of someone else’s words can be a beautiful experience. It allows for conversations that will never be forgotten, and a moment of bonding that teaches you so much about the other person. It is this type of listening that we fixers utilize to help others. The thing is, everyone already knows the answer, they just have to find it.
There is a tragedy in this story, however. As someone who lives their lives going around looking at how they can help others with problems, we begin to crave something.
This craving is profound and undeniable, and it can leave us lost in our lives. This is so because we begin to understand why we are so open to helping others. In so many meetings in our lives, we start seeing that everyone in this world is broken in some way, shape, or form. With that, we have to find self-love that fixes most of our pieces broken within ourselves. That makes us come off as a strong, sturdy, and free of problems.
The weakness of the fixer is that we have to put up walls around ourselves to help on the outside. We have one choice, do we work on the outside and or on the inside.
When we begin to walk through this world, we have to be able to work on ourselves while we work on others—helping is how we develop our own personal growth.
The piece of information no fixer will like to tell you is that the harder they try to look for someone to help, they are hoping even harder that they don’t find that person.