Not everyone is going to like you, or me, that’s just a reality of life. Sometimes we’ll be misunderstood, judged, rejected, excluded, or ignored. None of these things feels good, but human beings are complex. Some people need to be angry, or they need for you to be the bad guy, or they need to rewrite history so they can live with themselves. There’s nothing you can do about that. If a person won’t or can’t communicate in a respectful and compassionate way, there isn’t a lot of hope for mutual understanding or closure. On the flip side, sometimes we’ll screw up, and we may not be met with forgiveness. Once you’ve owned your mistakes and apologized, there’s not much more you can do, except try to do it differently next time.
Sometimes we spend our energy on the people who are looking to bring us down, thereby using up energy we could have spent on the people who can see us clearly. And look, I’m not saying we’re all wonderful. We all have work to do, places to heal, ways we could show up for ourselves and the people in our lives that might be infused with more enthusiasm or presence or gratitude. I’m talking about the tendency to get snagged on those people who are full of venom. Sometimes you’re dealing with a personality disorder, but if you try to rationalize with someone who cannot hear reason, you’re as nuts as they are. It’s not like we have all the time in the world, and where and how you direct your energy has the biggest impact on how your life will feel.
By this same token, sometimes we dwell on all the things we don’t have, and all the ways life is presenting its challenges, when we could be focusing on those things that are flowing, and are fulfilling. I’m not saying we should shun people who are struggling, in pain, or full of rage. Compassion when possible is always the path, but to spend hours, days, weeks, years getting caught up in other people’s dramas is not the best use of your time. You have a song to sing. You have dreams, fears, things that inspire you, scare you, excite you. You probably have a vision of how you’d like life to be or to feel, gifts within you that you long to share, ideas that you’d love to see blossom into being. That’s where you want to direct your energy. There will always be barking dogs, or, in the vernacular of our time, “haters gonna hate.” Don’t allow too much of your precious time and energy to go toward that stuff, and try not to dwell on what you’re lacking at this particular point in time.
It’s not always a choice, but the more we can choose to be grateful for all we have, the better we’re going to feel. This is not realistic when you’re dealing with heartache, rage, grief, jealousy, guilt or shame. I’m not one of those, “It’s always in your power to be happy” kind of yogis. Real, actual, devastating things happen sometimes, and your best bet is to feel all of your feelings. We don’t take the road marked, “Spiritual Bypass” on this page, but short of tragedies and great losses, direct your energy toward the good stuff. You’re not going to get to the end of your life and think, “I wish I’d been angry and defensive more. I wish I’d held onto my righteousness a little more fervently. Too bad I didn’t judge and gossip more of the time.”
Open your heart. Nurture yourself and the people close to you. Care about everyone, but don’t get stuck in a ditch with people who do nothing but hurt you. You aren’t here for that.
Sending you love, as always!