You know that saying, “Too many cooks in the kitchen will spoil the broth?” Well, I would like to propose an updated cousin to that saying. “Too many fixers in the world spoil people’s essence.”
The following is an excerpt from an anonymous post made by a friend of mine upon hearing that someone very close to them had been diagnosed with Cancer.
“They often said I could fix anything.
I have always been that defiant person determined to do, what others say can’t be done.”
*(I have not credited this excerpt to provide the author and their family privacy. Also, I am only using this excerpt as an example, not as a suggestion that this particular person is in any way a negative support for their family.)
I read the entire post and felt great empathy for the person who had been diagnosed with Cancer and also all of the people close to them. What struck me though was the lack of feelings in the post. This situation was a horribly painful, life changing, sad, gut-wrenching and emotional life event. Where and how were these people feeling and coping with these feelings? Instead, there only was mention of the regret that this situation couldn’t be “fixed.” I offered my comments for the post as such:
“I believe we need less “fixers” and more warms hugs, laughs, people who will allow us to cry just because, and be there with us, whenever, no matter what. :-)”
Fortunately, I received a very favourable and grateful reply from the author. ( I have removed the date and blog comment stamp once again to help provide some privacy to the original author’s blog and their private life.)
Remember the last time you were upset, depressed or had a problem to figure out? Do you recall how much you would have appreciated someone to listen, sit with you in acceptance if you cried, perhaps offer a few kind words of empathy or support and maybe even a hug? What kind of response did you actually get? Opinions, proposed answers, solutions, “fixes,” and probably a lot of suggestions, right?
All of these things have worth, but they don’t address a fundamental and innate part of us. The part I’m referring to is the part that makes us human. We are an evolved species with a highly developed and interconnected intellectual and emotional response that requires attending to and even nurturing for optional health and happiness. Many scholars and researchers over the history of man have also professed to the validity of our belief in and need to replenish our connection with a power greater than ourselves for a sense of well-being and understanding in life.
This understanding can often be questioned during times of trial and trouble and needs to be soothed and confirmed.
Fixers cannot “fix” any of the above about us as people or life. Fixers want to change things, usually everything, including how you feel. No matter how bad the problem you’re facing is, you as a complete being don’t need to be “changed.” Nobody other than you can ever change how you feel. Fixers can only fix things that are within their own realm, reality or physical world.
Fixers cannot fix you or your world. They cannot and will not ever know what it is like to walk in your shoes let alone be able to do so.
Fixers become fixers in a desperate attempt to control things, the world around them and those close to them. Strangely enough in a lot of cases “fixers” don’t or can’t see that they themselves can or should change or fix their own “fixing” or “controlling” behaviour. In extreme cases, fixing becomes “controlling.” Controlling behaviour is never beneficial.
Controlling behaviour, perspectives, and attitudes have no room for living mindfully. In fact, the very basis of “controlling” is in direct opposition to everything that “Mindfulness” represents. Staying present, staying grounded and staying within yourself which are all the focus of Mindfulness are contrary to all controlling thinking and behaviour. It has been proven scientifically that Living Mindfully is guaranteed to ensure a greater degree of satisfaction and happiness to you and your life.
Also, I would like to add a perspective from both sides of this problem. First, I’m the Mother of two daughters. I would take a bullet for either of them without hesitation, and I have cried myself to sleep over their struggles. Indeed, I have and undoubtedly always will want to “fix” everything in the world to make their lives as happy and trouble free as possible. However, I accept that I can’t and struggle not to try. I don’t care if I have to struggle not to be a “fixer” in their lives because I know how much more important it is that I am other things. Things like a good Mother, a shoulder to cry on, a confidante, as best a role model as I can be, a friend when they need one but also to know when to back off when they don’t, a money lender but also a tough financial advisor, a teacher and very importantly a forgiver to name a few.
How do I know the importance of what I just described? Besides basic psychology, I know because these things are either something that I needed or still do need from my closest relationships. I think I’ll stamp a message saying “No Fixers Need to Apply” on my new ‘want to be friends invitations.’
Now go fix something………