I used to think that I had all the answers. I knew what was best. I could see the big picture. I was wise beyond all things. But mostly, I just had all the answers and I knew what was best.
So, when I had people in my life that didn't have the same answers that I did, I thought I knew what was best for them, too. And I was full of advice and wise sayings and well-meant, though perhaps misguided, attempts to change them. To change the way they acted, who they were, what they wanted out of life, and how they went about getting it.
But, as I've gone through my own struggles, I've begun to realize that when people don't have it all together, sometimes the last thing they need is my advice. Sometimes they do, and when they do, they'll ask for it. But, mostly... mostly it isn't advice or wisdom or attempts to change them that they need.
What they need is love. We can't save people. We can't make people change into what we think they should be.
But we can love them. And sometimes... and maybe almost all the time... it's love that they need. That doesn't mean that we are blind with enabling and gullible acceptance. But, we meet them where they are, and we love them where they are.
That sounds easy, but in truth, it's much harder. It requires a whole lot of patience and perseverance and commitment. But when you love someone, it's what you do.