Hello. My name is Michelle and I’m addicted to fixing everyone.
That is how the greeting goes for this new support group I’m starting called Fixaholics Anonymous. We’re a group of people who believe that we’re in charge of fixing everything for everyone. Some people would say we have a “messiah complex” except that’s a bit of a misnomer because Jesus didn’t really come to fix people. He more came to stimulate them to being who they already were deep down. But us, we try to fix people.
At least, I do.
I try to fix my kids. I just know they can be perfect if they try hard enough, if I enforce well enough, if they can only stay on top of it all. If they mess up, they can just try harder next time.
I try to fix my friends, the ones who are struggling in their marriage or who are stuck in their relationship with God or who are wrestling with deep-down questions about who they are and why life is so damn hard.
I try to fix my family, because they have hard things too: friendships gone bad, career changes and then healing from the great unavoidable mess that is our childhood.
Sometimes I forget that loving and fixing aren’t the same thing. My friend Serena recently reminded me that real acceptance, real grace, doesn’t mean waiting for a chance to fix someone. She’s right, of course, and it’s just a nicer way of saying what Jesus says to me all the time: “I told you to love, not to fix.”
So I’m in recovery for that and I’m about three minutes sober.
I was on a fixy-fixy rampage yesterday that ended with my eating a lot of M&Ms, which is a sure sign it didn’t go well. I was just unable to even stand myself. I felt like a failure cause I didn’t fix anything. And then I felt like a failure for trying to in the first place. And all the while I kept hearing a whisper that I probably could just give the problem back to God since it was actually his problem in the first place.
I don’t know how to fix my fixing habit. But maybe that’s Step 1: Stop trying to fix your fixing habit. Maybe as I grow more OK with my not-OK-ness, maybe I’ll grow more OK with everyone else’s not-OK-ness and start treating them with the grace and acceptance that I so crave and am so freely given.