You may know that I enjoy listening to Dr. James Martin Peebles.
The other day I heard a teaching from years ago – bingo! Just what I needed.
Deepest thanks to the wonderful woman who brought up this topic. (Unnamed here, and her words have been paraphrased, but the doc’s words are as he spoke them, in quotes. This is posted with permission from Summer Bacon, who channeled the conversation.)
Question: What is our responsibility to our loved ones who are gloomy and depressed and rely on us to lighten them up? Sometimes this seems okay and sometimes their heaviness becomes a burden. They want us to cheer them up. They’re not taking responsibility for their own attitude. Where should we draw the line? How much responsibility we should take for their attitude? Or should we give ourselves in service?
“There is a fine line here. To be of service does not mean to become something for someone to fill the gaps in their life. You see? The reason he keeps looking to you for his joy is because you keep allowing him to do it.”
Yes, if I keep doing it he does not learn to find his own way. But it seems like it’s my responsibility to do it.
“It is not your responsibility, my dear. In truth here, listen very carefully to us.
“Your life is a demonstration. Live your life as a demonstration. Stop trying to alter or change yourself to be of service. Be of service by being true to yourself first. Give of your heart.
“When he is in despair and he is annoying you, and you are trying to do a project, or you are on the telephone and he is vying for your attention like a child, it is then that you say, ‘Excuse me but I’m very busy right now. And I understand something’s going on with you, but I’m not ready to hear it, nor can I help you right now. I am very busy with my own work.’
“That is not in-compassionate. That is your truth.
“Because if you get up and you walk away from what it is that you are doing that is bringing you joy in that given moment, that is important to you, that is freeing for your spirit – suddenly my dear you get up out of the chair to go attend to his business and you are encumbered, weakened, despondent, frustrated. It builds anger. It builds, my dear, a desire to die.
“And this is not, my dear, what it means to be of service. Service does not mean, my dear, that you lay yourself down at someone’s feet and allow them to wipe the mud off on you.
“It means, my dear, being true to yourself.
“And you can be very compassionate and say, ‘I’m very busy right now. But as soon as I can, in about an hour, maybe a week, maybe two years, I will take the time to sit and listen to what you have to complain about. Go for it.’
“You see? You understand the difference, my dear?”
Okay, but then I worry that I am not meeting him or not supporting our bond.
“You cannot put constraints upon intimacy, first and foremost.
“Here is what happens.
“Once you free your spirit to do and be what you want to do and be, and you are living, speaking, breathing, and demonstrating your truth with the world, then my dear, your desire, your true desire for intimacy, for touch, for affection, will come to the surface as well.
“It is a need of every single solitary person upon this planet Earth.
“The desire, the quest for love is why you are here.
“The desire to touch and to be touched is why you are here.
“And so my dear, as you allow more of your truth to surface, suddenly you will find that you walk past your husband, and you say, ‘Hello, I just love you, I’ve got to tickle you under the chin and kiss your neck and bite your ears. I can’t help myself, it’s my truth, it’s bubbling to the surface.’
“And it’s real. And it’s not, my dear, contrived anymore. Do you understand?”
I understand that it has been contrived because I’ve been mustering the effort to cheer him up just because he wants me to.
“Precisely. Now you’re going to do it from a true place within you. And life will become, if you will, more satisfying.
“Love will become more satisfying.
“Love-making will become more satisfying.
“It won’t be contrived.
“Doing anything my dear, when it is contrived is not of service to mankind. It kills you. God bless you indeed.”
(Many thanks to Dr. Peebles and Summer Bacon for all they do. This image of Dr. Peebles is from their Facebook page.)