Letting People Have Their Own Issues: Giving Yourself Much More Space
I have an extraordinary family I am happy to say. This year, when I was visiting with my daughters and their families, they introduced me to the work of Byron Katie. So, early on in the visit with them I asked them to help me work through some long standing issues. One of the nice concepts I learned about was about minding my own business, not in a negative attitudinal way, but realizing that when someone else has a problem, it is their issue and not mine. You may think that minding your own business is an easy process, but when a problem belongs to someone else to solve in their lives for their own growth, it is so tempting to want to intervene and make them change.
This is one of the great mysteries of life, because if God created us in His own image, it means that we have a will, that when used properly can create some pretty phenomenal things. The problem about will is that it is a key ingredient to all change. You can’t make other people change because all change requires an act of will. This is how God created us. Maybe this is one of the reasons that so many people have turned away from spiritual things and are so easily seduced by materialism. It is much more tempting to try to change everyone else and forget about our own issues.
My issue with letting others have their own issues has always seemed to center itself on the leadership. I think that if the leadership would change, then everything would change for the better. So when I started doing The Work, I realized that the concept of everything will change if the leadership changes for the positive is just not true.
What I discovered in doing my NLP work on the concept was that when I try to make the leader’s issues with change, my issue, i.e., taking their issue on as if it were my own and trying to solve it so that they would change and then everything would get better, I found that their issues take up a lot of space in my life. This is, no doubt, why my mind has persisted with the belief for so long. In my mind, the leader’s bad qualities or ego just take up a huge amount of space. It is like they have moved into my house and given me a small corner in the garage to live.
BUT I HAVE DONE THIS TO MY SELF. They haven’t done it to me.
Whatever their problem is takes an act of will on their part, but as long as I am taking it on for them, it seems to transfer the problem from themselves to my Self. Their problem takes over my mind so I really feel as if I am squeezed out of my space. I want them to change because I believe that if they change, then they will get out of my space and let me be free to have my own space. It always ends up as a disaster, but the big disaster is that they have taken over my house (my self).
When I analyze how much time and space they actually take up in my life in the real world, it is actually extremely small, but because I have taken on their issues, my mind and even my body is swollen in size, that is, I have made them a lot bigger in my life than they are and that wastes a huge amount of energy for me.
So here I am making their egos swell up inside of me and then that makes me want to try to change them. When I try to change them, they just naturally put up a lot of resistance because their egos are so protective by nature. So then the desire to change them turns into a fight and then the fight causes negative consequences to myself and others. They usually end up winning the fight because they have more authority and have no problem abusing power. But all I really ever had to do was to realize that their change was their business.
If I just let them have their issues, then the space in my mind that was swollen up and taken over by them can be taken up with my own true self and what it desires to do. I can have a bigger space for my own true self and do a lot more of what it wants to do. One of the first things that opens up to me as I am doing this work is that the space in life that is taken up with work that earns money can just be a very small one. It doesn’t have to be that big. I can do a lot of other things.
Hmmmm. Think I will go out for a run.
What to do.