“Helping, fixing, and serving represent three different ways of seeing life. When you help, you see life as weak. when you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole. Fixing and helping may be the work of the ego, and service the work of the soul.”  ~ Rachel Naomi Remen

It’s hard not to try to “fix” someone’s life that you love, especially if it’s your child, and it doesn’t matter if they are “grown” to the world or to themselves, you still see them as YOUR child.

Over the holidays I was keenly reminded that you can’t “fix” someone else’s life.  You have to let go of trying to force fit your idea of what they should do, and how they should live.

Now, you can tell them how you feel (because no one can argue with your feelings), but that’s about it.  They have to “fix” it for themselves, because it’s their life to live how they choose, and guess what… they might not think their life  needs fixing.

How this lesson came home to me over the holidays: Trying to Fix my Son’s Toilet.

Let Go of "Fixing" Other People's Lives

Let Go of “Fixing” Other Peoples’ Lives

The moment I walked in his house I noticed all the things I needed to do to clean it up/fix.

One of the things on “my”list was the toilet that was continuing to run.

I went to Lowe’s and brought what I need to “fix” the toilet.

Now, mind you I’ve NEVER tried to fix a running toilet before.  I don’t know what made me think I could fix my son’s.  I’ve never even fixed my own, but I was not afraid to try to fix his.

Needless to say it was NOT an easy task.  I fixed one issue and another one sprung up  — with a leak here and there –that wasn’t there before I started.

Over the two weeks I was at his house, it basically boiled down to me praying to a higher power to help me fix the toilet.  I certainly did not want to create another problem for him to deal with.

The morning that I was leaving town, the toilet issue was about the same or WORSE before I’d come to town.

My son came in from work and I showed him the issues with the toilet.

Now, in all of this time – 10 days or so – I’d been worrying about and trying to fix this toilet.

My son calmly walked over to look at the toilet.  He talked it through (maybe this needed to be tighten, or adjusted here or there) and he worked on it for about 15 minutes.

Guess what….for the most part he’d fixed his own toilet.

I realized that I can not “fix” his life how I think it should/could be anymore than I could “fix” his toilet.

Lesson:  Let Go of Trying to “Fix” Other People’s Lives – Maybe To Them It’s Not Broken