Paralyzed by fear, we are ineffectual, powerless to alter the fate of others. We watch helplessly as our children suffer and our parents age and decline. As we are incapable of reversing time, we are stymied. When our friends and siblings are in trouble, we sense their vulnerability, but remain ineffective without their willingness to ask for help. We prefer to carry the burden for our children, the pain of our parents or the sadness for our peers.
Unfortunately, by emotionally taking on more than we can bear, we become overtaxed, burned out and end up resentful. Knowing what is ours to correct, fix or solve and what is none of our business nor responsibility is the great quandary for every caring, empathetic person. We lose our minds and our health to anxiety as we come to an impasse. Our bodies agonize under the duress of self-induced stress. Natural born caretakers draw boundary lines only after repeated struggles with this predicament.