Sometimes the motivation to help others may be an extension of a deep desire to heal a wounded part of ourself. Often, these people appear to have very few needs of their own, and the focus of their lives is on rescuing, helping, and healing others. Their motivation to help others may be an extension of a deep desire to heal a wounded part of themselves that is starving for the kind of love and attention they dole out to those around them on a daily basis. For any number of reasons, they are unable to give themselves the love they need and so they give it to others. This does not mean that they are not meant to be helping others, but it does mean that they would do well to turn some of that helping energy within.
One problem with the rescuer model is that the individual can get stuck in the role, always living in crisis mode at the expense of inner peace and personal growth. Until the person resolves their own inner dramas, they play them out in their relationships with others, drawn to those who need them and often unable to acknowledge their own needs or get them met. In the worst-case scenario, they enable the other person’s dilemma by not knowing when to stop playing the rescuer and allow the person to figure it out on their own. However, if the rescuer finds the strength to turn within and face the needy aspects of their own psyche, he or she can become a model of empowerment and a true source of healing in the world.
I have been that person so long, even without consciously realizing this. The current situation, the COVID crisis, less work, more time to myself, and lesser people to heal; made me face my vulnerability. I found that I am so fragile and needy too. And this part of me, whom I resented, had to be faced. It has not been easy, I always told myself that I am strong, I don’t need anyone. And now I am acknowledging the needy, vulnerable and fragile me. Accepting my duality. And healing myself to wholeness.
If you know someone who may need to rescue the rescuer within, having inner burnout from over-giving; underlying resentment; an inability to admit to having needs of one’s own; and an unwillingness to be vulnerable, tell them that’s it is ok to be fragile. Help comes when we allow ourselves to admit we need it, acknowledging our humanity and our wholeness by acknowledging our pain. The understanding we gain in the process will naturally inform and inspire our ability to help those in need to do the same.