Giving a Hand Up, Not a Hand Out
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Giving a Hand Up, Not a Hand Out

Chaim Solomon
July 30, 2015


I'm having a hard time finding balance between empathy and self-care. I have a friend who has brought major negativity into my life. I supported him morally and financially for more than two years, because he was depressed (and still is, but he is now under treatment) and financially unstable (he's deep in debt, but can't be bothered to find a job that's beneath him). For two years, I was his only support system (mostly because he has a terrible attitude toward people) and took on the role of "caregiver." It has taken a toll on me. He’s had a negative influence on me with his egocentric, self-entitled, victim attitude every single day.

I started to distance myself from him and stopped giving him money, because I felt it was time to let go. I still feel guilty at times; I feel I'm not being a good friend. But, I feel the right thing to do is to take care of my wellbeing first. What is Kabbalah's teaching regarding this kind of relationship? Thanks for you time. ~HR


Dear HR,

Firstly, I would like to commend you on lasting two years under these circumstances! Kabbalah teaches that to truly help a person they need to have a desire to change their lives. We want to give people a “hand up,” not a “hand out.” We are here to support people that may be in tough situations AND are making all the effort they possibly can to support themselves and change their consciousness.

It sounds like your friend doesn’t want to make an effort and is just looking for a “handout.” This is a classic case of Bread of Shame that we teach in our level one Kabbalah course. You are feeling drained because your friend is drawing Light energy from you and not returning any energy to you. You have to go with your Light consciousness, and if you feel you need to step back, then step back and continue to send your friend Light to help awaken his soul’s Light. You do not have to continue to support him, just send Light.

At this point, it is very important for you NOT to feel guilty; you have supported him in many ways for a long time. It has always amazed me that generally the giver feels guilty but the receiver of help and support doesn’t.

Go forward with a full consciousness and a peaceful heart.

I wish you all the best, HR.