There are individuals for whom, for as far back as they can remember, may see themselves as a person with an inclination to save or rescue others. As a result of this, they are very used to being there for others, doing what they can to ‘help’ them.
While it seems as though they’re doing the right thing, there comes a point when one sees that living in this way isn’t truly serving them or others. This could even be something that they are forced to accept once it is no longer possible for them to behave in this way.
Regardless of what has forced them to take a step back to see that they need to change, they will no longer be willing to behave in the same way. Still, they could struggle to understand why it has taken them so long to wake up.
Firstly, there is a strong chance that behaving in this way felt normal for them. Secondly, behaving in this way allowed them to receive a fair amount of positive feedback from others.
Due to positive responses, the ‘helper’ would have the impression that they were not doing anything wrong. On a fairly regular basis, they may have been told that they were an example of how to behave. In such cases, one is not putting their needs first which is seen as acting in a selfless manner. Nonetheless, living in this way comes at a great cost.
Ultimately, every individual has needs, and in order to lead a fulfilling existence, these needs must be taken care of. It is through being there for oneself, not the false self, that one will actually be able to be there for others.
For the ‘helper’ type, taking care of their own needs will give them the energy and the strength to serve. When this doesn’t take place, they are running on empty and it is only then possible for a watered-down version of themselves to appear.
Living in a way of only serving others and not taking care of one’s own needs is not very satisfying. For such a person, they may find that it has caused them to experience a lot of resentment. This is because although they will have created the impression that they are selfless, they still have needs that have yet to be met.
Thus, being there for others and not getting their needs met will have naturally caused them to experience a lot of pain. Behaving in this way wouldn’t have just held them back though. It also prevented the people who they tried to save from taking responsibility for their own life. It would have been as though one was a parent and the other person was a child.
One would then have been doing things that another person should have done for themselves, disempowering them in the process. The reason one wouldn’t have been able to see this is because behaving in this was fulfilling a need that they were unaware of.
An Indirect Approach
What this is likely to show is that they have been projecting the parts of themselves that need to be healed into rescuing others. It is then not that one wanted to save these people; it is that they wanted to save themselves.
But, as they were not aware of what was taking place inside them, they wouldn’t have been able to realise this. And, as they will know, trying to change what is going on ‘out there’ won’t allow them to rescue themselves.
The other part of this tendency to rescue others is that being there for others became an indirect way for them to try to get their own needs met. This is likely to illustrate that they feel ashamed of their own needs, which is why they can’t get them met directly.
Considering this, being there for others, in the way that they have been, will be seen as the only way for them to be accepted and to survive. Ergo, letting go of this role and revealing who they are will be seen as a threat to their very survival.
The big question is: Why do they feel the need to hide who they are?
Their early years may have been a time when their needs were rarely, if ever, met, causing them to feel guilty and ashamed of their own needs. Due to a lack of support for their true-self, they would have had to develop a false-self. Their focus would have been on what was going on externally, losing touch with what was going on internally in the process.
For them to let go of this false-self and to embrace their true-self, they will need to deal with what is keeping the former in place. In their body, there is probably a lot of trauma that needs to be resolved.
As they go deep within themselves, they may find that they are carrying a lot of toxic shame. Also, their mind would have created a number of beliefs around what took place and these will need to be dealt with.
If one can relate to this need to rescue others, and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or healer.