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Each week, spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra responds to Oprah.com users' questions with enlightening advice to help them live their best lives.
Q: I want to know if we are not to judge others and we are to love unconditionally, how do we deal with a loved one who is in such a spiritual mess that it has affected her life and relationships? Loved dearly, this person cannot get out of her pain. To let her go on (which we have done) will be her demise. Sharing concern usually leads to a short conversation. She needs help in every sense of the word but feels money is the only answer to get her out of trouble. We offer love but are tapped out on the money. This is not drugs, alcohol or gambling. We are talking depression, hoarding and spending. Her home is a reflection of the pain and chaos inside her life.
— Odie P., Waukegan, Illinois
You are facing a double problem. Your relation—let's call her your daughter—is constantly rationalizing her mess instead of facing it. You are rationalizing her rationalizations. The two of you, in other words, are sharing in denial and helplessness. An emotional bond is making you do this. Perhaps your daughter learned her behavior from you. Perhaps you both learned it together in childhood if she's not your daughter.
Your real question, then, is how to stop rationalizing. You can't stop her, and that's not your responsibility. Depression is a serious problem, but many depressed people lead productive lives. They don't leech off others. If this is clinical depression, your daughter needs to seek professional help and stop neglecting her duty to herself and to you. But let's say she won't do any of these things. What is your responsibility?
What should I do if my job is draining me, professionally and spiritually?
Every week, Deepak will be answering questions from readers just like you—ask your question now!
Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.
Published on January 27, 2010