Enabling Someone is Not Loving Them.
“Real love is, when someone you love is hurting either themselves or someone else, daring to tell them. Being brave enough to risk the relationship in pointing out the harm they are causing to either themselves or someone else, and not enabling or going along with it. This is the most loving thing one can do.” — M. Scott Peck. The Road Less Traveled.
Though slightly paraphrased, this is essentially what Peck says.
Too many people do not do this. Too many people do the opposite.
(And yes, I’ve done it myself).
Most of us, at one time or another, have dodged speaking the truth in order to avoid conflict. We might believe that loving someone means “not hurting them,” so we stay quiet, choosing to avoid upsetting them and to avoid conflict. We think this means loving them. That upsetting or hurting someone is the opposite of love. It doesn’t and it isn’t.
Unfortunately, though likely well-intentioned, it’s the opposite of loving. It is also cowardly. It’s avoidant. And it’s weak.
And it does not help the person who is hurting either themselves or others. Instead, it allows the problem to continue. It reinforces the dysfunctional or harmful cycle remaining in motion.
Legit love means telling someone, in full honesty, that the way they are acting is harming themselves or someone else. This can even mean risking the relationship (as in, knowing this person will grow enraged with you for pointing out this difficult-to-hear truth, and thus, they may pull away from you as a result) in order to tell them this crucial truth.
When you truly love someone, you do not contribute to them harming themselves or someone else.
This is bravery. It is healthy boundaries. And it is mature love.
Consider: if you love someone, how can you turn a blind eye, go along with, or contribute to them hurting themselves? If you truly love them, this should be too painful a thing to even consider.
Enabling, going along with it, saying nothing, remaining silent, or downplaying in the face of problems in a person’s life whom you love, all of this is not acting with…