How can we help each other if we’re broken ourselves? If we rely on someone else for our happiness, what happens when that person is gone? When should we be selfless, and when is it ok to be a bit selfish?
Of course, we can lean on other people. Of course, when you’re feeling down or having troubles, it can be good to have someone to turn to for guidance or reassurance. Humans are not meant to live solitary lives, cutting ourselves off from people. We form relationships by opening up to each other, by finding the people that we can trust and confide in, that we can grow to love, be it platonically or romantically. Sometimes the emotions become so intense that they threaten to swallow you up, and without people to talk to about it, you’d drown in your loneliness.
But we also have to function as independent beings. It’s fine to turn to others when you need help, and often that’s the best way to look after yourself, by being open and brave enough to ask. But we cannot become dependent on others to fix us. We have to be able to look after ourselves, to address our own problems. We have to own up to ourselves sometimes, and not blame others for our problems or unhappiness, and start thinking that we can only be happy if someone else provides that for us. If all your happiness is attached to other people, then your world is going to come crashing down when they’re not there.
And sometimes we have to be a bit selfish. Sometimes, it’s necessary to step away to look after ourselves and fix our own problems. Not just to ensure that we are capable of independence, but also so that we are strong enough to help others when they need it. You can’t sort out someone else’s happiness if you haven’t found your own yet. Yes, be there for people when they need you. But remember to be there for yourself, to take the time to prioritise your emotions and your needs. That way you can help from a place of love and strength and experience, rather than trying to balance everyone else’s problems on top of your own, as that’s how dependence can arise.
It’s all about balance. We have to help each other, we have to be strong enough to ask for help when we can’t face something alone. But we also have to be ok with being alone, and be able to help ourselves first. Everyone is a little bit broken somehow. Everyone has their own issues to deal with, and acknowledging that is important. Sometimes facing it together is the best option; sometimes you have to go it alone. Confide in others but trust your own strength. Be selfless and be selfish. Be compassionate and be independent. Save yourself before you try to save someone else.