I am not one who takes any sort of pleasure in the suffering of others.
On the contrary – as an empath, I feel for those who have issues and suffering. I want, in fact, to do whatever I can to help people.
This is often a complicated idea. In especial when I am dealing with people I don’t, in fact, know. Yet it is still a part of my nature to do whatever I can to help people see the world for its positive potential and all the wonders it can and does hold.
There is, however, a fine line to be had between empathy for others and finding ways to be of help to them, and sacrificing for the good of others.
Sacrifice is not healthy because it gives power to the idea that we live in a world of limits and lack. How can we live in a limitless world of abundance and still have to make sacrifices?
Along this same line is competition. I have said before that competition between two teams or two athletes is one thing, whereas competition between people for wealth and prosperity and happiness is no good to anyone. These are notions of lack, and limitations, and a world lacking in possibilities and opportunities. The truth, however, is that this is an abundant, unlimited world full of possibilities and wonders.
From time to time our point of view differs from those around us. What I might consider a reasonable argument another might consider frivolous and not well thought out. Where I might be considering my actions to be self-protection, another may view them as selfish.
Am I wrong? Am I right? Are they right? Are they wrong? How do I judge this?
The problem is – I can’t. Judgment is a dangerous position, as it places someone in an authoritative place that might not be beneficial. In fact, for the most part, judgment is best reserved for the tastiest pie in a contest of the best animal at a county fair.
I have to listen to my heart, but at the same time I have to reason with my head. I know what I know, I believe what I believe, and while often that synchs up, from time to time they are in opposition.
I have commented many times that the heart and the head don’t always agree. You may feel a certain way about something, but your mind may not agree, and you might find yourself thinking differently.
I am faced with a situation where I believe I am standing up for myself. There is some collateral damage occurring, and I am sympathetic to that issue. However, if I back down and don’t continue along the path I am on, I will limit my current and future options.
There are a lot of very personal factors in my situation, but the specifics are of less import than the overall matter. I believe I am choosing correctly. Though I feel the pain I am causing, I cannot take that pain unto myself and do what is being asked of me without sacrificing. I don’t just feel that I am making the right choice, but I think it too.
It is unfortunate when this sort of thing happens, but as far as I can tell it happens to everyone. We all face a time when people we put a great store of love and faith in let us down. We wind up having to choose if we go forward for our own good, or sacrifice for the good of others. This is seldom an easy choice.
It is, I acknowledge, possible I am being selfish in this. I might be letting my dissatisfaction and anger and pride rule my decisions. I can certainly see the other viewpoints and perspectives around me. But this is my life, and I have to choose the paths I will walk within it.
The line between selfless and selfish is sometimes nothing more than perspective. How I view my actions may not be how some around me see them. What I see as a simple commentary on a subject another may see as criticism. What is important in this is that, when walking your path you be true to yourself. No one else can live my life for me, as no one can live your life for you. That is what makes Pathwalking so rewarding.
My path may not always be understood by those around me, but what is important is that it is mine, and it takes me where I want to go. How my path effects those around me is something I am mindful of, but it is important to know that I can only have control over my own life and situation.
How much do you let the paths of others influence yours?
This is the one-hundred thirty fifth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Feel free to re-blog and share. Thank you for joining me.