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Our freedom stops where someone else’s starts. This line is called responsibility.

—Harold Klemp
The Language of Soul

People irritate us. Let’s be honest. Your husband, wife, mother, father, brother, sister, or long-time friend. They all do things that bug the crap out of us. The part we forget: We do things that bug the crap out of them too. Love people for who they are.

Now love has a few different levels, so to speak. Your love for your close family and friends is emotional and nostalgic. The relationships are close because you have so many shared experiences. Those outside of this circle get our good will. Many use the word love, but it is more about good will or a lack of feeling altogether. Sure you feel bad for someone that has experienced loss or a traumatic situation, but you aren’t as effected as you would be if a close family member or friend experienced the same thing.

As human beings, we are naturally empathetic. When you read about a family in your area dying in a house fire, you would naturally feel bad for the family. If the same disaster happened to your immediate family, it would be devastating.

You can’t control other people. People will do what they will do. All of us have blind spots. We all have that thing we could improve on. We don’t need to rub this in someone else’s face. In most cases, they’ll resist the change you suggest that much more, or they may increase what they do to bug you even more.

Let your loved ones breathe. Let them pursue the life they want to. Love them for who they are. Love them for the things that bug you. Love them for their idiosyncrasies, their flaws, their eccentricities. These things make them unique. They are endearing if you look at them in this fresh light.

When Harold talks about freedom stops where someone else’s begins, this is what he means. You should let no one impose change on you. The same follows for you and others. You do not have a right to make someone do something they do not want to do. So lighten up. Let your family and friends breathe. People will surprise you. They change. But they change when they want to and at the pace they are comfortable with. Mind your own garden. You and they will be a lot happier.

Until next time…

Dave