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Who Are You Travelling With? Thursday March 6, 2014

"To travel with the unawakened makes the journey long and hard and is as painful as travelling with an enemy. But the company of the wise is as pleasant as meeting with friends. Follow the wise, the intelligent, and the awakened. Follow them as the moon follows the path of the stars." Dhammapada.

This quote, after my story last week about my 'distant and violent' father and the compassionate actions of the inspiring geography teacher and how it changed my life, clearly strikes a chord.

For me, we can all too often mix with, even live with, people who do not energise us.

We all have people in our lives who lean and people who lift.

If we spend time with those who lean, we weaken ourselves and for some of us, it can, as it did me while I stayed married, tip me into depression, as I was worn down by constant power games or materialistic attitudes.

Yet it is clear to us who we feel good with - even lifted by. Write these names down now.

So let me ask, who are you spending your time with?

If it is not those who lift - why is that and what can you, are you, going to do about it? All too often through family situations, or work, or some co-dependent situation we spend time with people who lean on us and drain us.

Unless we value ourselves enough to say no to certain people and situations, while even explaining why that is, we devalue ourselves. No one will place a greater value on you than you place on yourself.

How much do you value you and what action can you take, even with the assistance of those you value and trust - and who love you enough to lift you?

A Moodscope member.

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Diana Thu, Mar 6th 2014 @ 7:24am

Politeness and basic good manners have their place though - in my meagre opinion.

Anonymous Thu, Mar 6th 2014 @ 7:40am

Thank you for this post Les, I find it wise and perceptive. Although, as with the comments on "taps and cups" a few days ago, I feel that sometimes we have to lift as well as lean. That doesn't negate your main point though; that there are some people who can drain us, even be parasitic.

It can be hard to recognise this as unhealthy if, as a child, you were the lifter of your family and it was your childhood expectation, becoming your adult norm.

I used to have a lot of leaners in my life - this led to exhaustion and depression. Nowadays I'm careful - I choose to be around people who are both leaners and lifters: reciprocity is my thing.

Anonymous Thu, Mar 6th 2014 @ 7:59am

Thankyou Les- though I can't agree with your basic assertion that 'it is clear to us who we feel good with'.
Tell it to those who are in cults. Or those who stay seemingly forever in relationships which the external onlooker would say are doing them no good.
And anyway a relationship is a moving picture, ever flexing and changing.
I'd prefer the idea of starting with oneself. When all is right within, nothing can harm you from without.
As the Chinese proverb has it:
'When you see a good person, strive to emulate them. When you see an evil one, look into your innermost soul...'

Mary Thu, Mar 6th 2014 @ 8:52am

Thank you Les, Sometimes the people who bring out the best in me are the people who challenge me most and they are not always the easiest of people to be around - yet at after spending time with them I am uplifted, inspired and energised. There are a very few good friends who effortlessly achieve the latter while remaining very comfortable people to be around. I value those friendships immensely.

Anonymous Thu, Mar 6th 2014 @ 2:46pm

I'm struggling with this exact issue right now. I've realized (not for the first time) that two separate people, who have played very important roles in my life, no longer fit with the healthy person I am striving to be. Mary's comment resonates, as these are both people who challenge me, and their wide, wild perspectives can open up the world to me when depression narrows my view of what's possible. But I'm learning that the cost of their company is too high - there simply aren't enough boundaries I can set to keep myself emotionally safe enough to maintain their friendship. I am grateful to Les for his prescient reminder of this exactly when I needed to hear it.

Dale Thu, Mar 6th 2014 @ 3:55pm

Diana, I agree.

The Entertrainer Fri, Mar 7th 2014 @ 7:29am

"Leaning" and "learning" are only an "r" away from each other. That could be a stupid comment from me or a deep one - just popped into my head! I know that as soon as I stop learning or close myself down to learning, even those who lift me can lose their positive impact. As for those who 'lean' - I've learned it's usually some message I've given off that has given them 'permission' to lean for so long, It's a challenge isn't it?
I'm not really sure what I believe anymore, but I choose to believe that I'm hear to make a contribution. Most often, that's a giving out (the tap) that is rarely replenished from the person I'm giving to. This means that I really have to find lots of lifting experiences.
I've seen in some Japanese style gardens a little waterfeature that fills and fills and then flips to giving out. Wouldn't it be great to be able to understand that process in ourselves?

The Entertrainer Fri, Mar 7th 2014 @ 7:31am

spelling not too good this morning! "hear" and "here" but perhaps it was fortuitous... I know a lot of my contribution has to do with "hearing"!

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