The paths I have chosen to take for my life are mine alone. They have similarities to the paths others take — but they are still unique to me.
However — I am not a single solitary figure. I have a wife, friends, and family I love deeply, and various people and responsibilities I have taken on. So, while living my life by my own design is important — I can’t neglect the people who hold pieces of my heart along the way.
Probably the single biggest mistake made by people who take their approach to the Law of Attraction from The Secret — ask, believe, receive — is that while your path is for you alone — you’re not alone in the world. In the process of conscious reality creation, you cannot force others your way.
Trying to force people to your way of thinking and into accepting your reality will make you miserable. I give you, unfortunately again, Exhibit A: Donald Trump. Do you think if he managed to get the election somehow overturned in his favor, he’d be happy? Not a chance — he’s a bitter, selfish, entitled, angry man and his ire will always get turned somewhere. But I digress.
Your path is important when you desire to take control of your life and consciously create your reality. But unless you have nobody with whom you share pieces of yourself- there is a need to create balance.
This can be super tricky, for a lot of reasons.
What you want versus the “shoulds”
A lot of the ideas of the things you “should” do are based on the expectations of others, society, traditions, and long-held beliefs. However, when they keep you small and stifle your growth and happiness — they need to be reevaluated.
My wife and I come from VERY different familial backgrounds. My family is not terribly close overall. I talk to my mom once a week, sometimes twice — my dad like once a month and my sister once a month. I have very little communication with my aunts, uncles, or cousins.
Her family is VERY close. She talks to her mom several times a day. My wife and her sister speak a few times a week. She is always aware of the doings of her aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Because of the nature of the culture of her family, there is a certain amount of guilt that exists when she feels she’s not doing all that she should be for her family. Admittedly, the culture of my family has the same guilt — but I am less close to them than she is to hers — and it impacts me less.
For me, what I “should” do tends to be wholly focused on how it impacts her and me.
But when it comes to the people I love, I do not desire to ignore them or leave them in the cold. I recognize my obligations to those who hold pieces of my heart. But since I can live for nobody but me, it’s important to balance this.
Balance, however, may not be equal. It will probably be greater than 50% in your favor.
Striking balance with mindfulness
Mindfulness is your conscious awareness — in the now — of your thoughts, feelings, actions, intentions, and overall inner being. This is where you know what you are thinking, what and how you are feeling, the intent and why of your actions, and your overall headspace/mindset/psyche.
When you practice mindfulness, you can see how anything you do will impact the other people in your life. If you are moving against one of the “shoulds” you’ll be able to see if the guilt you feel is internal or external.
Further, once you know where the thoughts and feelings of guilt are coming from, you can evaluate them. Are you having a true, potentially permanent negative impact on those you love — or — a temporary one that will let you love them more?
How does that work? When someone holds you back from growth and becoming it builds resentment. Resentment is how relationships crumble. What’s more, it removes balance within as you second-guess and self-sabotage what you do to attempt to preempt guilt and resentment.
Yes, it is a vicious circle.
When you are mindful you are conscious of the now. At this moment, you’re aware of yourself. That will open you to creating the necessary balance if it’s lacking.
This leads to the inevitable question about selfishness.
Self-care — in the sense of being genuine, practicing mindfulness, and living your life for you — is never selfish. You have one chance in your present meat-suit to experience all this life has to offer. Your potential and the possibilities are only limited by your beliefs. Which can be altered, changed, and evolved.
Treating yourself well by caring for your mind, body, and spirit is not selfish. You cannot live for anyone else. This body is the only one you have. Self-care is not selfish.
Selfish is doing something that knowingly causes harm. It’s acting with intent and malice of forethought. While some acts of self-care can cause harm — in making those you love feel bad — that’s not on you. It feels like it is — but it’s not.
I was in a situation recently where I knew that someone I loved would be hurt by something I did. However, I didn’t intend to hurt them — but the way they process their thoughts and feelings — and my knowledge of that — told me they’d be hurt. But it was a necessary thing for my wellbeing — and I did what I needed to do.
This was not selfish. I have no control over how they feel, and it would have been unfair to ignore my own needs — both to them and me.
This would have been selfish had I not considered their feelings. Or if, In the process, I denied them something. But that was not the case.
An act of selfishness gives no thought to anyone else, knowingly causes harm, and creates lack and/or insufficiency for another. Being selfish involves taking more than your fair share and not caring about how that impacts anyone else.
Hence, an unequal balance between yourself and those you love is not selfish.
Consider the balance
The important thing about finding balance for yourself and those you love is a consideration. Recognizing that you are not alone and that what you do impacts those who share pieces of your heart, you consider them as you choose your paths.
I think, for the most part, my family does not understand the paths I am on. The choices I have made and continue to make for my life tend to confuse some of them. While I care about and love my family — I can’t live my life by their design. It is, after all, MY life.
How many people do you know living their lives to meet someone else’s expectations who are miserable? I know quite a few. Why do they do this? From my experience, it tends to be a combination of guilt, ease, and being in a comfort zone. Ironically, they’re uncomfortable in their comfort zone — but it’s a comfort zone nonetheless because it’s familiar and “safe”.
You’re an amazing conscious reality creator. The path you desire is worthy and deserving of you and you are worthy and deserving of it. Consider the impact of the things you do on the people you love — but balance that against your need to live for you.
Recognize that when you are more content with your life you’re happier and more joyful overall. When you are happier overall you connect better to the world around you. Since you have little to no control over the world around you — all control is vested within you.
Taking that and choosing paths for your life makes you stronger on numerous levels. That strength stretches to your connections — such as the people you share your heart with.
Consider the balance and what that looks like for you and the people you love.
Do you know where your balance points between your life and those you love are?
Thank you for reading. I am MJ Blehart. I write about mindfulness, conscious reality creation, positivity, the philosophy of choosing and walking your path, and similar life lessons.
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Originally published at https://titaniumdon.com on December 30, 2020.