The following quote, with a slight alteration of a familiar quote by Oscar Wilde, speaks volumes:

Some bring joy by their presence, others by their absence.

There will always be some people who attempt to weaken you, covertly or overtly. Their reasons can be real or imagined, whether from jealousy, some imagined harm you have done to them or they are harboring secret hatreds that have nothing whatever to do with you, except that they think you may find out what they are up to.

I’ve found that such people, like poison ivy, are far easier to avoid than to get rid of.

They see all others as a generalized enemy, always trying to trick them into letting down their defenses. Their life is a living hell; a nightmare composed of imagined threats to their existence.

And you, especially if you’re happy, surviving, living, or even just showing up and communicating, represent to them, a “clear and present danger.” They want to keep you down and under their control, and will go to extraordinary lengths to make this happen.

Under the thinly veiled guise of “constructive criticism,” their objective is quite the opposite. Their “helpful advice,” leaves you feeling weak, insecure, and uncertain of your skills and abilities. You end up introspectively searching for the answer to the unanswerable question, “Where did I go wrong?”

As they live in chronic terror of any active, assertive or aggressive personality, they try to weaken you. But being too cowardly to do this overtly, they resort to covert means. Using deviously insidious methods, they seek to nullify you, your talents, abilities, dreams, intelligence, and your self-worth.

Their ultimate goal is to trick you into believing that your normal feelings and actions are somehow harmful to others. And you, therefore, deserve to be restrained, confined and imprisoned so you do no more harm to others. Eventually, you begin to believe that you are “bad” and construct a prison of your own making; with imaginary bars kept in place to keep you under control. Until, you, at last, end up being your own jailer . . . which is, to them, the perfect trap.

Their thinking is that if you are focused on restraining yourself, you cannot see the unsavory and degraded things they are doing that would cause you to rise against them if you did find out.

Of course, their past (and present) is full of hidden crimes, disgusting habits, and nefarious intentions that would cause others to rail against them if revealed. All this in spite of outward appearances of wealth, power, intelligence or lofty position.

But all is not lost. Such individuals are inherently weak and afraid of others. Their apparent power stems only from their ability to get you to doubt yourself and limit your native awareness and power. But there is a secret weapon you can use against such people, found under the heading of purposes.

The secret is: Having and following a worthwhile purpose.

For when you have such a purpose, one that engages and directs your attention and actions toward attainment and accomplishment, the opinions, evaluations and invalidations emanating from such people, have no effect.

Having and maintaining a purpose will make you immune to the efforts of people who are seeking to make you weaker and less confident.

My motto has always been to “let ‘em hide and watch” – while I get the job done.

And you can do the same.

Once you have adopted some meaningful goal or purpose that captures your attention and passion and gives meaning and direction to your life you deny and defy people any power over you. Their efforts fall into the category of temporary irritations, minor in importance and unworthy of your attention or interest. In short, they cease to exist in your universe and at that moment have no power to affect you in any way. They can’t give help or receive help. To them, help is a foreign concept designed only to trick them into letting down their defenses.

The power of your purposes and your active participation in achieving them, actually negates any feeble attempts to harm you.

And as you grow stronger, any pretense of power they once had will have vanished like the illusion it was and become a zero of influence in your life.

Keeping your focus on your purposes while ignoring obstacles, distractions and diversions will give you that “strong foundation” as advised in the lyrics of the song, “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan.

“May you have a strong foundation when the winds of changes shift.”

Daniel Jacobs
(c) 2015, all rights reserved

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