Maximillian Amadeus Banzai (banzai) wrote,
Maximillian Amadeus Banzai

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The gravitic power of others' stuff

The fact that I so regularly and quickly feel pulled to take on other people's stuff seems a good indicator that it's high time (or perhaps past time) to walk in greater freedom from it. So it's a great focus for 2008. It's not a closed system—I'm involved, but I'm also in a culture where expression of opinion is not only a right but nearly a moral imperative. For many of us, it's a way of shouting "I'm alive! I matter!" to a world we may fear doesn't know or care.

One of the things that can easily go by the wayside in such a culture is listening. What if the only way we could respond to others was by asking questions? It'd be terribly limiting, of course, and I'm sure we'd find a way to make those questions point back to ourselves, too, but perhaps in the meantime we might really hear someone else. I wonder if many of us are afraid our own stories will not be told or done justice if we don't inject them often. I think that's my reason, anyway.

So I'm walking away a lot more—not from relationship, I hope, but from feeling like others' stuff needs my attention (unless they ask for it). And it's hard, and I fail regularly, which shows how much I need to learn to do it. Hopefully I'm pushing my stuff onto others less as well. The stuff doesn't go away, or even need to—it just has to stay in the right context and perspective.

In this spirit, I'm currently holding back on sending this article to nearly half of the people I know.
Tags: discipline, relationships
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