This post is partially inspired by Chalene Johnson’s “Mojo Monster” lecture at Camp Do More 2011 and parrtially inspired by a conversation I had wth a couple of friends yesterday about circumstances that they are in at this point in their lives.
We’ve all been there at one time or another. You’re in a great mood. All is going well. Nothing can bring you down… until you run into that one friend. She is the one who can find something to complain about in any situation. No matter what, she can find a way to focus on the negative. She takes and takes all the positivity from everyone around her, and it is never enough.
She is a Mojo Monster.
I may sound very harsh when describing this friend, but htat is because I know her all too well. I used to be queen of the Mojo Monsters. I thought that dumping my issues on everyone around me would make me closer to people, because they would pity me and give me affection. That’s the only way I knew how to receive affection. In fact, as all of you non-Mojo Monsters can predict in a heartbeat, this behavior of mine only pushed people further away.
Nowadays, I sometimes find myself on the other end of this scenario. Now that I’ve discovered my mojo and am passionate about helping others find theirs, I sometimes find myself falling victim to the mojo monsters in my life.
How do you break away… but only partially? As I said in my last post, I am extremely passionate about being a source of light and suport for others. So how do we learn to disengage while still being a supportive figure in the lives of those struggling around us?
I think it all comes down to our level of participation and, more importantly, the type of participation. For instance, I can listen when things are terrible in your life, but I can’t be a dumping ground for every misstep and every painful moment you experience. I can offer support and love, but I can’t tell you what to do. The only advice that I am willing to offer is related to self-preservation and inner strength. I will very rarely give advice – solicited or no – for physical, outward actions. I personally feel that this creates too strong of a sense of obligation and responsibility in someone else’s world. In the end, it is their burden to bear and the consequences are the ones that they reap themselves.
Now these are some of my self-imposed restrictions on helping others. Maybe the guidelines are different for you. I personally am very sensitive to the feelings of guilt, so the latter rule that I outlined is essential for me in not feeling too attached to the situation. Perhaps for you, this doesn’t apply as much. Or perhaps for the former suggestion, you are strong enough to listen to every woe and worry. That is wonderful. These are just guidelines. Figure out what rules work for you — when those Mojo Monsters are pushing it too far. Develop methods to break away while still assuring them that you are in their lives and care for them.
People can be Mojo Monsters just by keeping you from that which makes you truly happy. They don’t deserve your time if they detract from what makes you so special.