Hell Is Other People – Or Is It?

Have you ever heard the statement “Hell is other people”? I really laughed when I first heard that because of course there is some truth to it. However, the opposite is just as true or even truer: “Heaven is other people.” The key is: WHAT people? And to a very large extent, this is up to you. Of the seven billion or so people now living on Planet Earth, you get to choose the ones you are going to spend time with. Isn’t that amazing?

This past weekend, I was with Dr. John Gray at his Mars/Venus Soul Mate Seminar. What a great program – I highly recommend it. He offered many profound and helpful ideas when it comes to finding and living with your soul mate. Here is one of his ideas that struck me: He suggested that you ask yourself, “Do you like who you are when you’re in their presence?” If your answer is “yes, most of the time,” that’s a good sign. If “no,” then you might want to reconsider the relationship. You can apply this to any relationship, group, or community. Do you like who you are when you are with them?

This is a very important element for your personal power and fulfillment: finding kindred spirits on your path. I include this guidance as Step 10 of my coaching system, called, “Connect with a Loving, Supportive, Inspiring Community.” As the old saying goes, no man is an island. To live a truly fulfilling life we need others. This is especially true when beginning to step out into new ways of living for the first time. You need a group of supportive people who can love and support you. Who see and believe in the best for you. Who know who you really are and what you are hoping to achieve. The reason we are not alone on this planet is because we need each other. The key is to find your tribe, to find YOUR people. This is not always an easy thing to do.

I remember I was working with a professional life coach in the late 90s and he kept repeating to me, “Roger, you gotta get out there and meet your people.” I was sharing all this stuff with him about consciousness and living a creative life, and pouring my passions out to him in our sessions. He kept prodding me to get out there, to find those places where I and my ideas would be welcomed. I finally took his advice and found several communities where this was true. It made all the difference in the world to be with people who could understand me, who would support and encourage me, and even challenge me to get better, clearer, or more committed.

You know you’ve found your community, your people, your tribe, even your soul mate, when you are accepted for who you are, you naturally fit in, and it’s easy for you to be yourself, say what you are thinking and feeling, and grow in the relationship.

One very interesting element of community is that “who we are with others, is not who we are when alone.” Think about it. Who you are, the thoughts you are having, the things you say, the things you do, are different depending on who is with you. This is a very interesting characteristic of relationships. We’ve all been around people who make us feel good or who inspire us. And on the other hand, we’ve all been around people who depress us and suck the energy out of us. Clearly, we are affected by the people with whom we are interacting.

In the spring 1996 issue of “The Noetic Sciences Review,” Margaret Wheatley (Organizational Consultant and author of Leadership and the New Science: Learning About Organization from an Orderly Universe) wrote an article about the hidden intelligence orchestrating and organizing all things in the Universe. In this article one of the things she pointed out was: who we are when we’re with others, or who we are in community, is different than who we are when we’re alone.

Margaret reveals the seldom realized and amazing fact that you cannot understand the power of an individual by assessing or understanding who they are when alone. You have to look at them when in community and in relationship with others! However, she pointed out, “none of the commonly used personality assessors or indicators (e.g. Myers-Briggs) let us know who or what we are capable of being when we are in community with one another.”

As your mission becomes clearer and your confidence in who you are becomes greater and greater, your ability to identify, attract, and engage people on your path gets stronger and stronger. On the flip side, your ability to know who and what is NOT on your path gets stronger and stronger as well. And eventually, what comes along with this knowledge is your ability to say NO to who and what is not on your path. The funny thing is, people and opportunities NOT on your path will likely keep showing up, especially in the early stages of engaging your mission. These become opportunities for you to continue embracing who and what you are, by saying NO to who and what is not on your path. (Side note: these people actually ARE on your path, however they are there for you to say and strengthen your “no”).

Eventually you get to a point in life where it’s about living your mission and making your contribution to the world. This is what becomes most important. If someone does not support, or is not aligned with this highest purpose and vision for your life, then it serves no one (including them!) to spend your time and energy with them. Having this kind of capacity requires that you are very clear on your own authentic life path and mission (achieved through Steps 5 and 6 of my coaching system: Get connected to your Purpose and Passions). When you have clarity on this, it becomes a lot easier to say YES and NO to best facilitate your service and gifts into the world.

Try this:

Reflect on the following questions:

– Who in your life right now does NOT support the highest vision of yourself? Who do you NOT feel empowered and good in the presence of? List these people, groups, and communities. Decide right now to give less of your time, attention, and energy to these people on your path that are not serving you (nor is it serving them!).

– Who in your life right now DOES support the highest vision of yourself? Who do you feel empowered and good in the presence of? List these people, groups, and communities. Decide right now to give MORE of your time, attention, and energy to these people on your path that ARE serving and supporting the highest vision of yourself.

Congratulations – you are one step closer to accessing your mojo!

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