Does your help disempower others?




“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
– Maya Angelou

«So, does your help empower or disempower her?”

My world stopped when I heard this question.
It was 2012. My Father passed away suddenly a few months prior, and I intended to support my mother as she grieved. What I experienced was a lot of friction, painful friction, instead.
It was not an understatement that I felt horrified by this question and what I realized.

Immediately, I could see clearly how I supported my mother disempowered her.
How I approached her with a “solution” disturbed her process of connecting with her strengths– the strength that I have always admired and respected.

“Can you see how arrogant you are?” My therapist asked me. “You think you know better.”

With a mixture of peeved and shock, I uttered. “Yes”.
Then tears started to stream down my face.
“I do not mean to disempower nor disrespect my mother. I am very sorry”.

The incredible thing about this was that I could breathe well at that moment. Like I was relieved. I knew the truth was spoken then.

It was true; the whole thing was true. I thought I knew better, and yes, the word for it was “arrogance”.
No, it was not easy to be called arrogant, yet looking at what happened, I was.
I was horrified to discover that my desire to support my mother resulted in disempowerment. I love my mother with all my heart.
I don’t want to disempower people. I also don’t want to disempower myself.
When I disempower others, I actually disempower myself.
This was the beginning of such a humbling inward journey to be more honest with me.
My grief brought me to a deeper understanding of where I was at in my life then. Doors of expansion opened up as I went deeper into myself during this time.
I discovered that underneath my desire to help my mother, I had a deep suppressed fear – the fear of losing my mother.

This was a very familiar fear, a long companion in my life.
My (now late) mother had a chronic illness. Throughout my life, I experienced a few times when she did not feel she could make it. Each time this happened, the fear of losing my mother grew. Over time, this fear was wrapped up in an exquisite packaging of “I am strong, and I can help or fix the situation”. For my young heart, this was more “empowering” than “I am scared my mother is going to die”.

I lived unconsciously in this narrative. I became a “problem solver”; a “crisis manager”; a “destructor and rebuilder”.  It became a part of my identity.

Little did I realize that this came from a debilitating fear of losing my mother at a young age.
The more truthful way to describe the situation was, “I want my mother to be well so I can be well too”.

Then, I started doing the inner work to heal the childhood trauma and unresolved wounds that fed the deep fear of losing my mother. The truth is that human is mortal; everyone that comes here will leave.
Since then, I regularly do a double take whenever I support or help others – I check in with myself about what makes it important for me to do so and how I can do it in an empowering way for both of us. Life has been so much more light and enriching for me since.

Little did I know that such a healing journey also became highly beneficial for my professional life.
A few years later, I chose to change my career direction and started a profession requiring deep interaction with others – helping them move THEMSELVES from fear into safety – within.
This was when I decided to be a catalyst for others – as it is about my client’s life, not mine.

Why am I sharing this with you?

Most of you connected to me through this newsletter tend to be Givers, Helpers and Carers for others. It is a noble choice when it is done in an honest, balanced and empowering way.

This sharing is an invitation for you to reflect on whether the reason and how you show up for others are empowering for you both.
This clarity will change your life for the better. This, I can assure you.

When you discover that there is a fear associated with the role you choose to take on, please, start your healing journey. This would be, hands down, the best investment you’ll ever make in your life.
Take good care of yourself.
Showing up for others can be done in an uplifting way.


Please join me in sending my late mother, Widayati, loving energy as with her support, I could share this lesson with you and make the journey into life with much more love and less fear. Thank you.


With love,



p.s. If you need support, feel free to set up a call with me here.

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