Do You Enable or Empower Those You Love?

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                                          Alexis Colby.  Bad Ass. Quote from:  Ginger Rogers Quote Pinterest.

Do you enable or empower those you love?

From Meriam-Webster:

Enable:  to provide with the means or opportunity

Empower:  to promote the self-actualization or influence of

Upon reading both these definitions in the Meriam online…I realized that both words were quite similar. One however, “enable” didn’t require any follow through.  Enabling seems like love but it’s not.  It weakens the person that you think you are helping.  How does it weaken?  No consequences attached.  For example, a client of mine knew she was enabling her father.  She knew she had to stop.  She just couldn’t put the words and actions together so she could stop.  She wanted help from me to effectively do that.  Here is the scenario:

Justine’s 87 year old father is living on social security and recently moved in with her.  Part of the reason he moved in with Justine is because a young woman was taking his social security money from him every month.  Justine’s father would just give it to her without consequences.  He didn’t require proof that she was doing what she said she would with the money.  Nothing.  Zilch.  This young woman was okay leaving him with nothing to live on!  He told Justine he would stop.  Three months after moving in, Justine found her father was still giving this young woman his social security money.


Justine’s father was enabling this young chick by letting her take advantage of him.  What was the incentive for her to take care of herself if she didn’t have to pay back her “Daddy?” Zero. Justine would be enabling her father to continue this behavior if she didn’t find a way to stop him.  Here is how we solved the problem.  I told her exactly what to do:

  1.  Justine was to tell her father that his “rent” was to never pay that chick one red cent again.  Ever.
  2.  Justine and her husband were to go and have a little chat with the chick.  It was not to happen again and if it did they would have her arrested.

Would the young chick be empowered by this?  Probably not. Not Justine’s problem. Justine had to focus on how this would help her father.  Would he be empowered?  Hopefully.  At least he would be able to spend his money! Justine would definitely be empowered because she wasn’t allowing anyone to hurt her father.  Just sitting by while these things happen to those you love is not helping them.  Sometimes you have to fight for those you love.  That is one of the many ways to truly be there for someone.  By fighting for them when they are unable.

Justine’s father is doing much better.  He’s not giving the young chick money anymore and she, of course, has disappeared.  Justine’s father is a little lonely (Justine’s mother died a few years ago) but is enjoying his grand kids and new family life.  Justine wanted to share this story here because she was relieved when she stopped enabling her father.  Thank you Justine!  You’re strength is an inspiration to us all.

So beauties…how about it?  Are you enabling anyone you love in your life?  Are you being too nicey-nice when you should be kicking someone in the butt?  Assess and address.  And here is the biggest question of all.  Do you enable or empower YOURSELF?   Yes.  We will address and asses…in the very next post.   Love, Goddess

Suggested Reading:

  1.   Are We Losing the Bottom Line? 
  2.   How to Win an Argument with a Man
  3.   Bitch Lifestyle the Manual

© S Stevens Life Strategies

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