Teachings about the law of attraction have gained popularity in recent years. There is compelling evidence our thoughts, words and actions have an impact on our physical world. Of course, there is more to life than just thinking pleasant thoughts and hoping for the best. The truth is, there are many laws, spiritual and otherwise, that keep the universe knit together harmoniously. It’s been through the teachings of Dr. Wayne Dyer that I’ve become familiar with the spiritual principle of non-interference. It’s a simple concept that stems from Buddhism which can help us all stay in our own power without getting entangled in anyone else’s choices; I think of it as energetic boundary- setting. It can be summed up as, “honouring my own free will and the free will of others”. Whenever I find myself frustrated with someone or mixed up in some drama, it’s usually because I’ve stuck my nose somewhere it didn’t belong and interfered with something that is outside of my domain.
In a grander sense, I believe that the concept of non-interference can apply to how we interact with the planet, and remind us that there are consequences for leaving a heavy footprint on the Earth. It can definitely apply to how we relate to loved ones and aquaintances and, once fully understood, help us foster more peaceful relationships. Below are some do’s and don’t’s to help with the practise of non-interference.
Giving unsolicited advice
As an intuitive person, I can often tap into issues that people may be facing, at which point ideas will arise as to things that will help them improve their lives or way of being. However, I have to remind myself that we are all on our own journey. What is helpful for me may be all wrong for someone else. I am learning to hold a space of nonjudgment for people without imposing my own opinions or ideas about how they should be showing up in the world or running their lives. I’m also learning to walk away from people or situations that don’t feel right rather than trying to fix or change them.
It may be tempting to give advice if someone is younger than you or going through something that you have been through. I’m not saying that giving advice isn’t appropriate in certain situations, but often times people are just seeking to be heard- really, actively listened to. When people have a sense that you are listening to them not just with your ears, but your posture, your eyes and your heart, they will be more receptive to any wisdom you can impart to them. I find that the safest route when giving advice is to simply ask the other person if they would be receptive to hearing your perspective, or asking how you can best support them.
Trying to push your agenda
This can be especially tricky for coaches and counsellors, and we are often sought out as guides and feel it necessary to impart our wisdom upon our clients. We have to dance the knife’s edge of holding space for a client to come to their own realizations and manipulating or rushing that process with our own agendas. We may in fact subconsciously wish for a client (or friend or loved one) to improve their lives or grow personally to make our interactions with them easier, to get an ego boost for ourselves from helping them to make positive changes.
Of course, most of the time if we are trying to push our own agendas onto someone, it’s coming from a place of love and wanting to initiate positive change. However, something I have to remind myself of is that everyone has free will- independence and freedom of choice, even to choose things that don’t serve us. When someone is being self-destructive or even acting in a way that is detrimental to others, it can be tempting to want to roll up your sleeves and try to change or “fix” them. This is almost always a losing battle. Sending them love and allowing them to continue on their journey is the only way to not interfere and avoid getting enmeshed with them and their behavior any further. We have free will also, and we are not obliged to keep that person in our lives. This can be a challenge if the person in question is a family member or colleague who can not be completely avoided; in this case setting boundaries, walking away and changing the subject politely when you feel yourself getting triggered or wanting to “interfere” can be helpful. I really like the Louise Hay affirmation, “That may be true for you, but it’s not true for me” when people are presenting me with negativity. It helps remind me that I’m the only person I can control or change, and to respect others where they are at in their journeys.
Trying to push something to manifest before it’s time
This is especially evident in the person who is constantly jumping from relationship to relationship. Perhaps they have a true desire for a meaningful, committed relationship, but in their eagerness to see that desire manifest they are continually settling for partners whom they know are not “the one.” Rather than focusing on the desire, focusing on self-love and personal growth in order to become that perfect partner they seek, they fall for the instant gratification of a less- than ideal relationship.
I’m certainly guilty of trying to rush things into fruition before I am perhaps even ready to receive whatever I asked for. While it’s great to visualize what you want, becoming attached to your desire to the point where you try to interfere with the creation process will only cause more resistance. Be clear about your intentions, goals and desires, do a little bit each day to achieve them, then give it up to the Universe to do the rest.
MYOB (Mind Your Own Business)
There are obviously times when you will be called to intervene in a situation. If someone is being hurt or abused or if there is some sort of emergency you will need to step in. Another instance where it would be acceptable to interject in a someone’s affairs, quite reasonably, if someone has asked you for help or if they have asked you to hold them accountable for something.
For the most part, we are going to come across people and situations that irritate us, but no amount of anger or defensiveness will create any meaningful change in them. In these situations all we can do is try to change our attitudes and shift our viewpoints. There is a great freedom in accepting people or things in all of their beauty and brokenness without trying to impose our will upon them.
There have been many times when I’ve become intertwined with “messy” people, convinced I could love away their darkness and transform them into the perfect friend or partner. Looking back on it, I now know that those people are on their own paths, which differ from my own. All I can do is send them love and let them be who they are while I love and honour who I am. How much I could have accomplished if I would have “minded my own business”, turned that energy inward and channeled it into my own healing and personal growth!
That is not to say that you should completely detach yourself from others. Its just important to recognize when you’ve become enmeshed in another person’s mission or struggles at the expense of your own. It’s good energetic housekeeping to maintain a healthy amount of detachment and understand that you’re only responsible for your own consciousness and actions.
See other people as mirrors
If a person I’ve encountered is displaying destructive or undesirable behaviors, I try to see them as holding up a mirror to show me some aspect of my own life that needs my awareness. For example, if I’m encountering someone with an addiction, I may need to look at things that I’ve become dependent upon that are no longer serving me, rather than getting frustrated with the person experiencing the addiction. In this way, I can actually view the person as having given me a gift and bless them with love, even if I don’t choose to keep them in my life.
Give it up to the Universe
I believe that each of us is a being with a purpose and our own set of lessons that we’ve come here to experience and learn from. Other people’s actions and reactions are largely beyond our control, as will be certain circumstances in live. At it’s heart the principle of non-interference teaches us to surrender in these instances, as everything is permanent and will eventually will pass anyway. As paradoxical as it may seem, giving up control to the Universe (or however you visualize your Higher Power) can actually be quite empowering. It can free us from the burden of thinking that we are responsible for creating a change that may be truly beyond our control. Once we let go we are free to let in more peaceful and abundant experiences.