Sometimes, in the search for harmony and peace and learning to be happy with what we have we go too far. We put up with situations that aren't healthy and aren't necessary. I'm talking about love partnerships here mostly though I'm sure these ideas could be applied to any human relationship.
While I think it's important to realise that we can have peace and contentment within the normal ups and downs of life I wanted to clarify that there is a certain balance to be had. That sometimes you need to make a change. When I talk of letting life flow I don't mean be complacent or a doormat, I mean make any changes you want, you have the free will to do so, but use your intuition as your guide and let life lead you to that good place.
I've just been made aware of a "friend" who is in a relationship with a very negative person. This person seems to make his entire existence about tearing down and destroying any sense of peace she tries to establish. She is a wonderful person trying to be peaceful and content while in the throes of this negative relationship.
She somehow feels she should be able to deal with his negativity through self-awareness and that somehow this is her failure. She has a multitude of reasons to stay but none of them seem to take into account her value as a divine member of humanity deserving of a peaceful place in this world.
There is a saying "you can only fix you" and I believe that it's true. However sometimes it leads people to believe you have to stay and work on you and put up with whatever unhealthy things come your way. Parts of this is true, we must all find a way to deal with the negative things, the shortcomings of our partners, our family and friends and a good partner is certainly worth the effort. If however, you are partnered with a person who takes more than they give, who creates an environment of negativity that is above and beyond normal human disgruntlement, then we have to decide if the partnership is worth salvaging.
If your car broke down on the highway would you fix it right there with traffic zooming by endangering your life? No, you would have it towed to a safe place first and then work on fixing it. Same goes for us. Yes we can only fix ourselves, not others and that can go a long way if your relationship is with another compassionate person who is happy to allow you to. If, however, your partner is not able to allow you to grow and be your authentic self you may have to continue your growth alone.
I remember reading about some Buddhist monks who were captured and treated terribly, held in horrible conditions and brutally tortured. When questioned after about their experience the said that they were in great pain and danger but the greatest danger to them were that they might lose compassion for their captors.
I've often thought of that and while I can feel great admiration at their personal development and compassionate nature, what stands out for me is not that they could feel compassion for their torturers so much as these were their captors, they didn't choose to be there. Some have used this as an example as to how we can live in dire circumstances with peace. I agree it can be seen as a great example of that. But when they were released they didn't beg to stay. That's very telling. You do not have to stay where you are being treated badly, you are not a captive although at times you may feel like one.
If your circumstance in life is truly difficult. If the person or people, family, relationships, friends, are truly negative and abusive towards you it is perfectly OK to step away from those relationships. You can continue to have love and compassion for them but from a distance.
I talk a lot about serving our fellow human but sometimes the best service we can do for someone is to let them be, let them fall, let them learn how to get up on their own two feet and walk their own journey.
Do not let your compassion for others trap you in a situation that is dangerous to your spirit and your life. If there is an earthquake on the other side of the world do you not feel compassion for those people? So if compassion can be felt for people on the other side of the earth you certainly don't have to share a home with a person to feel compassion for them. Don't let people take advantage of your kind nature.
I like this example. If you get gold fish and put them in a little jar, they will only grow as big as is naturally comfortable for them. If you put them in a bigger jar they will grow bigger and if you put them in a big pond they will grow bigger still. We are like the fish. Don't allow yourself to be trapped in a little jar. If you are in a relationship, be in one that lets you experience all the growth you need to be a fulfilled person. And do the same for your partner.
Do not forget, you are a divine, wonderful spirit truly deserving of a happy and peaceful life, set yourself up in the situation that best allows you to grow and improve and it will serve all involved in a positive way in the long run, even the person you've chosen to love from afar.
Thank you Double-Dophin for the musical suggestion Two Beds and a Coffee Machine