What can or should we do?

QUESTION: Masters, my brother is an artist who creates digital art to do with cosmic consciousness. His art is spiritual and soulful. However his head seems to be in the clouds. He refuses to get a “normal” job and if he had a choice would give his art away instead of selling it. While he seems to realize the importance of getting a job, he has been procrastinating over the past few years. He will be 30 years old soon. What does all this mean? What is he here to teach us, what are we here to teach him? How do we be of help to teach him the life lessons he is meant to learn, or are we even to be a part of this teaching process in the first place? ~Aly, Singapore

ANSWER: What is normal? You are saying that your brother, simply by virtue of being in a human life, must choose to conform to society’s idea of how to live his life. You can never make people do something or change their mind about anything unless they agree. Your brother is his own person. We are not judging the path he has chosen. Everything that he does is part of his journey.

The very existence of life is a series of life lessons. Some of his lessons are his alone, and others are group lessons with the family and others. These trials can be found by asking yourself: “Why do his actions aggravate us so much?”

In this situation you will see some forms of jealousy, envy, anger, a sense of responsibility for a family member, and fear that you are doing something wrong. Leaving him alone is a life lesson for all. Let him make his own choices. He is taking responsibility to some degree for his own life. You have no responsibility to care for him.

If you feel he is becoming burdensome on the family, it is time to exercise “tough love” by ceasing to facilitate the lifestyle he has chosen. Tell him it is time for him to be responsible for all aspects of his life, including food, shelter, and clothing. He needs assistance in making the final choices by not being able to fall back on anyone but himself. He can find an environment where he will be an accepted participant. It may be similar to what is occurring now, or it may be your “normal.”