Are you happy being yourself only to have others want you to change to suite their lifestyles and ways? And have you ever had a conversation with someone who just doesn’t understand you or where you are coming from? I don’t mean in the ‘can you repeat the sentence’ kind of way, I mean in the ‘why are you not doing what I want, I just don’t understand you ‘kind of way.
Now slow down and be prepared to reread this several times, it can seem to be the same thing and get confusing. Kind of like the energy at the moment. We really are swimming in unpredictable waters lately.
It has happened quite often recently that I will be sitting here, minding my own business, doing what I do and it’s like this little impish elf with a twinkle in his eye will arrive at my door just itching to cause a little mischief. In Africa we have a certain name for such a character – but this ‘trickster’ energy is found across the world in all cultures. We will look into this more in another post at another time.
So, like I was saying – for me it was an email that arrived with a certain tone and content, a neighbour, who usually welcoming, blew icicles at me, a weird conversation where quite literally it felt like I was underwater trying to listen to the other person and they kept talking over my words. Now I don’t know if it is just me who has these experiences, if not do feel free to leave a comment.
What really gave me such shocking clarity though was how people really don’t listen to understand – or very rarely. They really do just wait for you to finish your sentence – sometimes…They make quick judgements and even quicker decisions about you. If you are not following their way of doing things or their way of living then it seems to trigger them. Did I mention these are often the very ‘spiritual’ people that we turn to and look up to in our communities, families and circles of influence.
It quite literally took me aback at the reaction I got – and continue to get when I follow my own inner voice, my own callings, wisdom and purpose. There are and certainly have been times when others perhaps did know better, and taking advice, help and learning from others is part of the path.
But then just like a raft that gets you to the other side of the river, you leave it behind – with much gratitude for its part in your journey – as you march on into the jungles of your life.
Doing something when we just know it is not right for us, or will bring no benefit to ourselves or others sets up the pitfalls for many different scenarios that can then play out. If we do not stop and follow the truth in our own soul, then we spend lifetimes paying the price.
Now she thought I was just being stubborn and difficult – and here I am, actually celebrating because I am just being authentic and true to myself.
What could be more liberating and empowering than reaching a point where you know who you are, what you need, what serves you and your life in this very moment.
Wherever you are in your life, and whatever you are presented with it pays to do two things, which one of my mentors always re-iterates.
Number one – question everything. Number two – Take nothing for granted.
They too seem similar and so obvious that you would probably think it not valuable. However, on closer inspection ‘question everything‘ does not imply you become like a 3-year-old always asking ‘why’ – though that is not a bad strategy for a child. We need to use our intellects here – the rational, reasoning part of our brain. Is this a good decision, will it enhance my life and those around me, how do I feel when I partake in it, do I need to change my values for this undertaking? All of these questions will help you develop not only self-reflection but self-knowledge too; which is crucial for your evolution.
The second question – do not take anything for granted sometimes is then twisted into the trendy ‘gratitude’ movement where we need to be grateful for everything that comes our way. Rather it offers another way of implementing the law of impermanence in our lives, that when we have good do not think it will stay, and when we have bad, we realise it will not stay either.
We come to honour and respect and cherish what we do have and not live with assumptions. Assumptions breed discontent quicker than snapping your fingers. Taking the time to have the uncomfortable conversations will breed much more authenticity in your life than living in your own mind where foggy overthinking and illusory narratives work overtime.
I also want to share that I used to get so caught up in wanting to make them understand and spend so much of my energy and time trying to get them to get me, that I landed up in a complete tangle of a web that affected my whole physiology to the point of illness and critical unhappiness.
If you are at this point, please just stop.
We will never be able to force, convince or change people’s minds about us when we are trying to prove who we are. We simply have to be who we are; and receive those who then come into our space and want what we can offer without trying to change how we do it.
Just as we cannot force a flower to grow, we cannot force a friend to see our side, a parent to relate or a boss to agree unless the causes and conditions are right and there is a genuine open willingness to allow the process of understanding to unfold.
Remember it is seldom about the content in a communication, it is our intention to allow another to express themselves and them allowing us the same courtesy that affords an authentic and empowering exchange.
Listen to others, yes. And then check in and listen with all your might to your own heart and soul!
Read last week’s article here When a Philosopher and a Hindu Goddess put Chaos into Perspective – The Uncoiled