Knowing when to leave “well enough” alone…

I’ve had it all of my life; this tremendous stubbornness, married with a certain self-righteousness, and a generous compassion for those in need. And united, these traits give me the desire, belief and motivation to “help” those around me. Another way to put it, is that I have a guilty affection to “fix” people.

I don’t feel the slightest bit vulnerable sharing this because I know that I’m in plenty of good company. I was raised by “fixers,” and I’m in more than a handful of relationships with avid “fixers,” at work, at home, the yoga studio – we are everywhere. I can so easily spot another fixer; we are the first to get frustrated while driving, we’re not the best at listening, but we really don’t like when people don’t listen to us. We don’t usually let people do anything for us, training our help would likely be futile. We can’t understand why people aren’t more appreciative of the time and wisdom we donate in the form of unsolicited advice, and after a concerted effort in a situation we have been known to throw our hands in the air and write someone off altogether after not obtaining our preferred results.

You may have guessed it… these “fixers” as kind and well intentioned as they may be, are always going to end up extending themselves unnecessarily, and angry, hurt or pained. These attempts to help are uninvited, and as a result, most often dismissed. When nice gestures go unappreciated, feelings are going to be affected negatively. If the fixing efforts could be turned inward, a beautiful self improvement effort could be made.  That right there, ladies and gentlemen, is our solution. To keep to ourselves from any more hurt and frustration, unmet expectations, and wasted effort – giving ourselves the assistance, kindness, and good favor is certain to be well received. These questions will help you know when to step in and help, and when to keep to yourself:

  • Is my help wanted? Has it been ASKED FOR?
  • Why am I wanting to help?
  • Is my help going to hurt or harm anyone, including me?
  • Can I give my help and let go after that?

Loving the Unlovables

We all have them, people or groups we don’t necessary like and certainly don’t agree with. Perhaps they seem to attract calamity, they are magnets for toxicity, or they take pleasure in bringing misfortune to others. It’s so easy to look at these individuals and pick out flaws, fixate on aspects of their character that we don’t like, resolve to privately pray for them and cast them aside as an unlovable. Even if we don’t consciously harbor resentment, we retain judgment and private or overt criticism through gossip with like-minded mates. And here is where we will find ourselves descending to that low vibrational level.

We can quickly resolve that our misdeeds don’t equate the damage the “unlovables” bring to us, to others and even to themselves, however it doesn’t justify our wrongdoings. The key to a true resolution comes from a principle taught early and then forgotten… we must “find the similarities.” It’s in this place where we can recognize that we do share more in common than it may seem on the surface. Through finding likeness with our enemies, such as fear, jealousy or control, we understand that the imperfections of humanity sew a unifying thread between us. None are blameless, but all have the capacity for spiritual growth under a higher power of our own understanding. To avoid continued division in our already fractured world, we have to realize that we are all in this together. This is OUR life, OUR world, OUR universe – we’re all “in the same boat.” So if it goes down, we’re all going down with it.

If you need to make amends, get to it, as soon as you can. If you can be of service, reach out your hand. Sometimes the best way to bridge that gap, and dissolve negative emotions, is to walk across it and offer help in any way you can. Don’t be fake, and don’t endanger yourself, use wisdom from your elders and take direction from trusted sources. But by all means, go to any lengths to act in love toward those who are testing your ability to be loving to all. Act as if, at first, if you need to. No doubt the one who will benefit most from these gestures in love is yourself.

EGO – and the mania that ensues

The EGO topic has been coming up quite a bit for me recently. Either seeing it in others, noticing areas where mine is cropping up, or discussing it among friends. Formerly, my EGO ran my entire life, and I was vacillating from feeling absolutely entitled to everything I wanted and thought I should have, to feeling completely worthless and less than. And the pendulum would swing, one moment feeling better than someone else (“because don’t you know who I am?”) and the next I would feel waves of shame, worthlessness and despair because I didn’t think I measured up. I was trapped by judgements, stories, memories, fear and pride. It’s sad just thinking about that mental agony.  It fueled a selfish and lonely life. And I know some of you can probably relate.

So, where does this EGO come from? What is its purpose?

It is the principle that exists in our psyche that separates us from one another, helping us to organize the characteristics of our personality that allows us to function within the world. Where the EGO becomes a problem is when we allow it to get out of control. The EGO is supposed to be in service to our highest self, but when we let it take priority over our divine purpose is where we find the self will run riot. The key to ensuring that our EGO doesn’t cause chaos running the show, is to implement checks for ourselves, and continue to restore balance.

Staying in touching with our higher power, through various channels such as prayer, meditation, writing or singing maintains our connection to our highest self and allows it space to expand. Allowing ourselves to be of service prevents us from being too heavily self focused, and provides us perspective over the rumination that sometimes plagues our minds. Remaining accountable and in connection with others who are able to remind us of our true nature, put us in check with “reality” when necessary, and restore our feeling of interconnectedness in the universe is another workable and effective method to maintain balance with our EGO and highest self.

The EGO is not a bad thing, and doesn’t need to be banished completely, after all we were created in the image of whatever each of us believe our higher power to be. We are inherently wonderful, and each of us has the capacity for ultimate goodness. Treating others and ourselves with love and kindness remains the prescription I will advise. Be well, my beautiful friends. I love you.