Do people have a right to be “evil”, possessed, or otherwise negatively influenced?  It’s an interesting question.  Lately, I’ve been working with someone who has a family member that seems to have slid into some type of negativity.  Some of the indicators are a personality change, being withdrawn, fascination with darker types of things, and some possible physical phenomena.  Nothing very clear-cut, but there might be something going on.

Put yourself in this person’s shoes for a minute.  It’s your family member, what do you do?  Talking to her doesn’t seem to work.  She says that she doesn’t care about your concerns.  You confront her on her behavior and recent behavior changes, and she says she’s happy the way she is.  You can’t take control against her will, as she’s an adult who’s capable of making her own decisions and appears to be otherwise functioning normally.  She’s not breaking any laws or doing anything else that might bring enforceable action.

Tough spot to be in, no doubt.  I’d call it a hard lesson in not-liking something that you have to accept.

My view is that people are “allowed” to make choices, including ones that I might consider to be negative or evil.  I may want to talk them out of it, and the Law of Cause and Effect may take care of it in the long run, but ultimately, they make their own choices, no matter what I say, or how I feel about it.  And it’s me that has to let go and “allow”, more than the person of concern.

“People can choose what they want.”  It is very easy to say this about people in general and think nothing of it.  It’s lip service, just a cliche.  But when you apply it, a new reality surfaces.  You discover that the more you care about the person, the harder it is to maintain this type of detachment and acceptance.  And when it’s family, it is harder yet.