Last week I was sick for a few days. While tired, it offered some time to contemplate circumstances that are going on in life and in the world. One of the things that came into mind and rolled around for a bit was who we allow to have power over our lives. This was not from a legal or governmental point of view but more from the aspect of who we allow to have the finite resources of our lives. This is especially true of resources such as time and personal energy.
I have discussed kindness and unconditional love before. From both aspects, we can see an almost bottomless well of ability and giving. That is tempered though by our own personal energy and the ability to mentally and physically perform tasks. Even the Buddha sat and rested at the side of the road.
People enter our lives on an almost daily basis. Some stay for a short time, others we can find on the “couch” months or years after they have been forgotten about. The choices we make with these people as well as those who hold a special place in our life define the network of social connections and relationships that help to define our reality and our world.
Sitting in a darkened room waiting for a headache to go away, some of these people came to mind in an almost parade like list. Old friends and family, old “enemies”, people who had entered my life for a short time and then moved on. Which ones still carried some sort of power over my mental our physical resources? Almost a decade ago, this was one of the sections of my journey that I occasionally have to go back to.
Some would say cut these people loose, spread them like chaff from the rice fields. Others would say that we have a total responsibility to them to act in accordance with the norms of society or culture. How it is done, as with all of a person’s life, should ultimately be determined personally. I have chosen to operate according to my nature; to let go of those people that draw upon my resources greedily, to nourish those who need a helping hand, and to walk next to those who are my partners on the journey of life.
Ultimately, humans are social creatures, given to existing in groups. Those groups though are our choices…we have the freedom as brilliant and luminescent beings to pull the ties and webs that strengthen us and to cast away those that would drain us needlessly.