“Enable vs. Empower”

Is it possible to be an Empowerer yet once in awhile enable?  I believe I am an Empowerer!  Yet in some situations, if I am honest with myself, I can enable.  For me, people who view themselves as victims can be my kryptonite and I’ll find myself slipping into “Enabler.”  I start out as helping, and than I find I am trying to take care of the situation.  It is such an old familiar pattern.  What is the difference and why am I enabling?

Victims have an excuse for every occasion:

“It wasn’t my fault.”

“No one likes me.”

“If someone would give me a chance”.  

“Everything keeps happening to me, I don’t know why?”  

Somewhere somehow victims can have a sense of entitlement.  The world owes them more chances, a job, a place to live.  When in reality when victims are given a chance, they spoil their own chances most of the time.  Someone once said to me,

“Doesn’t he deserve another chance?”  

I responded, “If he was a cat and each chance represented a life, he would have used up his nine lives and than some!”

Enablers rescue, they dash in on “the white horse” and save the day.   Rescuing is more about the enabler than the victim.  Enablers start with the intent of being helpful and end with handling the situation or crisis.  They do take care of the immediate crisis, but with a victim, their crisis is never really over.  It’s handled for the time being until something new arises they are unable to handle.   

Empowerers see potential in the person.  An Empowerer make things uncomfortable as real struggle is a growth opportunity.  Tough Love accepts no excuses, has no time for the drama.  An Empowerer who has to resort to Tough Love, is truly demonstrating the truest form of love.  They use life situations as teachable moments to guide the victim to the next level…Self Reliant Individual.  Empowerers guide victims to learn to handle their own life.  

Maybe that’s the lesson for me…I consider myself an Empowerer, but given specific situations that involve people unable or unwilling to help themselves can become my “kryptonite” since I can slip into old patterns that are embedded in who I am…maybe all of us are a combination of Enabler and Empowerer.  

Team Empower, which one are you?



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