It's funny and I have my good friend Tamar Adegbile to thank for this one. Sometimes people meet/hear about you and decide they want to be around you and want to know you because you're so wonderful. And they seem so supportive and loving that you open up and help them and invite them into the circle of your friendship. But it takes someone who really knows you and loves you to tap you on the shoulder and say, "They don't admire you or love you, they want to BE you. They want to learn what you got and copy it and if they can't copy it, they'll try and take it from you." And lo and behold, you were so busy being the loving caretaker of everyone that you totally missed that. And one day you look up and they are wearing or carrying pieces of you that they did not ask for. The reason you miss this is because it is not in your nature to want to be someone else. It's in your nature to deliberately choose amazing people who have something to teach you. They teach you what you don't know and then you make that your own. That's when the friendship blossoms into mutual support and admiration.
But this other thing, is far more insidious. And while this, "trying to inhabit your life" thing is happening, you finally notice it. Not because they're mean or you dislike them, but you just feel tired all of a sudden whenever they are near. What to do?
Just give what you have since this person needs it so much. Don't give in a way that requires anything of you, just give in compassion and keep it moving. Because then once they have it, they will still stumble around in the dark. Because what you have that they are sensing isn't what you were born with. It's a thing that life, shitty circumstances, brillant luck, relentless tireless failures have taught you. These things have given you a wit and creativity about solving life's problems and re-framing them to work for you and to celebrate your life...these things came from long, hard-won battles. The kind of battles you would never wish upon your worst enemy. But here you stand celebrating life.
So you give. Even when someone has shown up only to take like a man dying of thirst in the desert. You just give. Because what happens is they take and don't know what to do with what they have, so the emptiness remains. They won't know what they have until they decide to do the work of healing, dredging up the past, making a new story and healing. That's the rent you pay for living. Once they learn that, then they will be on the road to their own life. They will show up, ready for that party.
So perhaps, they need you there to force them to come to terms with their own journey, for until they started trying to walk your road, they didn't even know there was a road to follow...