Being Enlightened Doesn’t Mean You Have to Be a Doormat

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Photographer Lulu Hoeller

“Judgement says everything about the one doing the judging and nothing about what is being judged.” – RJ Spina

I’ve been hanging out in a lot of groups that are focused around spirituality and personal growth lately; and I’ve been noticing something that feels very uncomfortable to me. I’ve seen several posts where people have mentioned setting boundaries or blocking people who are being abusive towards them; and in the comments there will be criticism about “that’s divisive” or “that’s separation, not coming together.” Even worse are the ones who say things like “you’re being selfish,” or “that’s not very loving (compassionate.)”

There seems to be a big misunderstanding in parts of the community about what our responsibilities are. I get the sense that a lot of people are thinking that because spiritual people are supposed to love unconditionally and be compassionate toward all living beings, they shouldn’t protect themselves from being taken advantage of or remove themselves from situations where they are being emotionally or verbally abused because that’s not being loving or compassionate to the other person.

The first thing that bothers me about these kinds of comments is simply that these folks have the chutzpah to think they actually have a right to criticize someone else’s personal choices in the first place. How is it expressing compassion or unconditional love by telling someone their personal choices (which, by the way, aren’t anyone else’s  business;) are “wrong,” “selfish,” “divisive,” or lacking in compassion? Why on earth would someone think it’s necessary (or even reasonable) to allow yourself to be mistreated, bullied, or abused to qualify as a compassionate person? What would make anyone think they knew more about what the best response to a situation is than the person involved in the situation?

Now before you go all Rambo on me and tell me that I’m doing the same thing I’m complaining about, pay attention. The situation is totally different . . . I’m not telling someone to their face that they are wrong, or criticizing their behavior the way that folks commenting on a post are. I haven’t called out a single individual, there’s no identifiable personal information; and, in fact, I’m not talking about any particular person but about something I’ve seen in multiple places, done by many different people. As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve done it myself in the past (and I’ve had it done to me.) I hope I’ve grown past the idea that I have any right to tell someone else they’re wrong (unless, of course, they are trying to interfere with my free will.) I hope that I’ve matured enough to let go of the idea that criticizing someone else’s personal choices is acceptable behavior, or that it’s any of my business when it doesn’t affect me or harm anyone except them.

Something all of us need to remember is that being a “good” person doesn’t mean you have to be a doormat, or let anyone walk all over you. Being a good person, raising your vibration, becoming enlightened, or ascending – no matter what you call it, it does not mean you have to give up your right to be treated well, or your right to set boundaries and walk away from unhealthy or abusive relationships. It doesn’t mean you can’t defend yourself from being attacked, whether that attack is physical or verbal; and it doesn’t mean you have to allow yourself to be criticized for your personal choices and ethics. The unconditional love and compassion that is talked about so much isn’t something that you only give to others, it is something that needs to be given to yourself as well, and that means taking care of yourself.

What’s even MORE important to remember though, is that being enlightened, or a lightworker, or whatever doesn’t make anyone better than anyone else. It doesn’t mean that your personal ethics, your personal choices, or your opinions are the only “right” ones; and it doesn’t give you the right to tell anyone else that they are wrong, or unethical. It doesn’t give you the right to make rules for other people, or decide what’s “right” for them.

We are each unique individuals, with our own unique paths. I don’t know what your path is, or what your guides have told you; and you don’t know what my path is, or what my guides have told me. What your guides tell you is ONLY for you, it doesn’t apply to anyone else; and you have no right to expect someone else to follow your personal guidance, or to tell them that they’re not doing the right thing.

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