I think I’ve always mixed up the difference between loving and saving. There’s something about broken people that I identify with, that I understand in the deepest parts of my core. We’re all broken. I learned that early on, and so I found myself attaching to people whose darkness played well with mine. People who understood I wasn’t perfect, and loved me anyways. People who were struggling, and who, for some reason, I thought I could rescue.
It was never about being a savior. I never believed I was this special person who had the power to transform someone’s life—it was the idea of it, the principle. The simple fact that I could save someone when I felt like I couldn’t save myself. Or maybe even more importantly, my pain had purpose when I could help lift someone from theirs. It made what I had gone through worth it, somehow, when I could keep someone from carrying that burden on their own.
So I fell for people who needed saving, people who so desperately needed me. And I tried to convince myself that was love—someone being dependent on you.
Somewhere along the way I realized it wasn’t. At least not for me. I became so much of a fixer that I didn’t want anyone’s help. I wouldn’t let anyone come to the rescue because I was the only one who played that role.
And I was strong, I told myself. I didn’t need any saving.
The problem is, I think we all do.
At least a little. I think we all need someone to lift the weight from our shoulders, to remind us that we’re not alone and that it’s going to be okay. Someone who won’t give us everything or swoop in and change our fate, but reassure us that one day our hearts won’t be so heavy. And encourage us to stand on our own two feet.
Because sometimes, it’s not about letting someone else come to your rescue. Sometimes it’s about saving your damn self.
Because if you don’t, you don’t learn, you don’t grow, and you don’t know how to love because someone’s been giving you all of their heart without asking for anything in return.
Sometimes you can’t be someone’s savior because they need to fix themselves, love themselves, and learn to love you.
You can’t love anyone into healing. And that’s been my biggest problem. I thought that by keeping other people sheltered, it would help them heal. But the thing about healing is you have to experience the hurt first. You have to be dragged through the worst of it to come out on the other side, bandaged and ready to begin again. You have to be at your lowest and rebuild from scratch to become the person you’re meant to be.
It doesn’t mean you have to do it alone—hell, that’s what people are for—to strengthen each other. But not to save. Not to rescue. Not to fix.
Maybe I’ve always been a fixer. I’ve always been the girl that didn’t want others to experience what she has, or the girl who just wanted to keep those she loves safe. I’ve always been the girl who wants to make good people out of bad situations, to give strength where there is none, to be the reason someone smiles. A little selfish? Maybe, but with good intentions.
But sometimes the fixer needs to take a step back and stop trying to be everything to everyone.
Sometimes she has to close her eyes, take a deep breath, and know that she cannot change the entire universe. She has to know that people must learn to be strong on their own. Know that her strength or self-worth is not dependent on the people she saves. Know that she is wonderful, for her capacity to love, but that she must put herself first sometimes.
Know that no matter how much saving she feels she needs to do, she must learn to save her own heart too sometimes, and that’s okay.