Evolution Is A Choice
I’ve had the good fortune of studying the human mind and spirit, using that education to successfully counsel others for several hundred hours, and observing the veracity of the concepts applied, over and over in various different contexts with people of all sorts. The more I understand myself and other people, the more compassionate I become, the greater my capacity for love of all kinds, and the less tolerance I have for BS. It is possible to be compassionate, understanding and gentle while being 1000% opposed to excuses and blindspots, including one’s own once discovered, let alone anyone else’s. Not everyone has the guts and humility, but when that combination exists in a person, they’ll be among the highest quality human beings around. Such are my sure friends. Everyone else I’m friendly with. No matter how much I appreciate, enjoy, or even love the latter (and I do), there’s a difference, I am conscious of it, and I limit their access to me because of it. Can they cross over to the former? Sure. It’s all about growth and demonstration. Where there is willingness, there is capability.
“Where there is willingness, there is capability” leads me to my next point: A truly ignorant idea exists that “When someone wants to see you they’ll make it go right no matter what”. Such a statement could only be uttered by someone who’s not been so buried by work and personal fires that by the time they have any downtime, they don’t wish to experience any incoming anything from anybody for extended periods of time, and really all they can manage is an utterly mindless or otherwise liberating activity like sleeping, non-work social media posting, TV, reading, gaming, athleticism, painting, composing, creative writing, studying math or science, or traveling for the sheer point of changing the view. In other words, they’ll engage in whatever it is they need to engage in that is sufficiently predictable, from which they can safely expect a steady bringing of order and life to their world without the demand of anything but their interest and dedication to see it through. If the overwhelm is heavy enough and the person is thus self-destructive enough, they’ll turn to drugs or other addictions for relief. It’s possible interacting with you would be the best remedy for whatever ails them…but they’re so buried they don’t feel capable of experiencing another person until they can see straight again.
Those of us who have experienced such overwhelm, regardless of the survival/self-destruction factor, tend to be super understanding and quicker to grant space to those who apparently need it, assuming it is well-warranted and for energetic recovery. Frankly we are all too happy to grant people that space — or, if it’s been a long time, drop everything and show up on the person’s doorstep to ensure they’re okay and see if they need any help. It’s a sign of great respect, compassion, and understanding of the human condition.
Those who don’t understand that level of overwhelm, and/or lack the ability to be alone themselves, tend to criticize the need for solitude…and they also tend to take advantage of those who require it. Such people assume all sorts of false motivations like self-esteem issues rule the day instead of wisdom, compassion, and assumption of context based on personal experience. To those in the former camp — those in the latter are very hard to play. We may have mistakenly trusted the wrong people in our past, and so perhaps it seemed we were gullible puppies, but really we were stuck in our own blindspots about the person in front of us, specifically as to what that person’s actual intentions and activities were. Once we figured them out and our life exploded (again) from having mistrusted them (again), we learned, and it’s even more difficult since to reach our inner core. Yet unless you’ve given us a solid reason to do otherwise, we will continue to believe the best of you, and that includes believing your silence simply reflects a hell you don’t want to include us in. If that’s not the case, do us both a favor and communicate it directly because we’ve lived too much life and are not enough of a jerk to simply drop you altogether. Be on the lookout for us because we are THE most loyal people you’ll meet…but please don’t waste the time and energy we freely give out of our goodwill and care.
The concept of context and loyalty brings me to my final point, regarding the idea, “If you judge me based on past misdeeds, you have no right to my future”. There are two components to that statement. One is bred in loyalty and demands that a true friend or ally stick around through thick and thin, through stupidity and clarity, through loss and triumph, always believing that someone can grow and evolve into an exponentially more awake and fantastic human being. That aspect has my full support. However, that same idea, to be true in any context, also demands a certain level of responsibility — from the person demanding the loyalty and from the person who was, is, or potentially will be on the receiving end of that person’s actions.
Once someone has proven they directly can be, or your relationship can be, more destructive to your well-being than it was helpful, you are under ZERO obligation to let them back in your life on any level unless they are actively demonstrating personal evolution and unless you are honestly willing to give them the chance to demonstrate it. If they hid things from you for extended periods but are now willing to come clean — that’s evolution. If they neglected your needs but are now attending to them — that’s evolution. If they took you for granted and diminished you to their friends and family (or if it’s a work environment, to the boss, colleagues, or clients) but are now acknowledging you in private and public — that’s evolution. If they otherwise betrayed your goodwill but day after day are showing up and being their best self — that’s evolution.
So if someone approaches you and says “Hey, I messed up bad. Here’s what I did, this is what I learned, and this is what I’ve done to take responsibility for it; and this is who and how I am now”, for goodness sake, give the person a chance to prove it to themselves and to you…IF you still want from them whatever it is they gave you that was good and IF whatever they did to harm the relationship is within your limits of forgivability. Meaning if whatever they did is something that potentially could be amended for so thoroughly that any damage they did in the past wouldn’t affect your future together…why not give them a chance to prove it?
If you are unable to do so because you’re too busy still being victimized by the betrayal (imagined or factual), you have only two choices: A) acknowledge you just can’t be that evolved of a person (yet) and drop the relationship until further notice, which may be a week or forever, or B) right there on the spot, take an honest look at yourself and observe where YOU haven’t taken responsibility for the situation at hand — or one similar to it…and you’ll find your anger and hurt dissolving into compassion, patience, and willingness to whatever degree. This may take many attempts before it’s smooth. It may take some effort from both of you but it will very soon prove to be a worthy endeavor…or a mutually agreed misuse of time. Be willing to experience the outcome rather than the regret of giving up before the road was honestly attempted.
Obviously, don’t jump in and assume anything about anyone’s ability or lack thereof. Give someone the space to demonstrate evolution without giving them the keys to destroy you. And check yourself CONSTANTLY to ensure you’re not throwing your own neanderthalisms at them in a misguided effort to prove you’re perfect. It’s a balancing act, but if you step back and remove the heavy emotion and simply observe, you’ll figure out the dance and it will be a pleasant journey for you both — no matter the outcome.
I believe we cross each other’s paths for the simple reasons of distraction and challenge, but that there is ALWAYS something to learn from each other. Sometimes there is a lot of grief attached to it, sometimes there is a lot of joy, sometimes there is a combination of both and all the confusion in between. But with our willingness, there is always growth. Sometimes the growth manifests in doing something right the second time, and sometimes the growth manifests in the first step of walking away, pulling your energy back in from the misdirection, and moving on with the creation of your life — as opposed to whoever’s life it is you’ve been living. Whichever it is, growth manifests in knowing…and then doing accordingly. You’ll know you grew right because whether the characters are the same or far removed, Life will cease presenting you with a slightly different version of the same scenarios that have gone wrong before. (You may even hear a dingdingding and see Achievement Unlocked flash above someone’s head. Or not, but you may, now that I’ve planted it. You’re welcome.)
We all have unfinished business with people whose paths we cross; it’s the nature of having a spiritual experience via these weirdo meat bodies. But how much of your time and energy do you want to spend helping others finish their unfinished business with you? Choose wisely.
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