Our lives today seem to be so fast paced. Hence many people seem to crave routine, predictability and consistency. While there need not be anything wrong with that, we cannot forget that life is all about change – life itself is change and it is impossible to get away from that. While you yourself may try to stay constant, the world around you will continue to change.
As we go through life, grow and change, various new things, people and experiences come along our way. There is excitement and novelty that usually accompanies this. However at some point that novelty usually wears off and it is important then to be very aware of what is left when that happens. Is it something deeper, or simply a refusal to change? Secondly, what once served our soul, our being, may no longer serve us at another point and usually this is the case with many things in our lives.
So as long as we go through life with the natural flow of things and pass through changes smoothly, many of us will find life always blissful and move through it with grace and ease. However, since a lot of us resist change, what often happens is that we are afraid to move through a change and sometimes either we get “attached” to something or something gets “attached” to us that is no longer serving us. Hence for today, let us look at what is or could be standing in our way or bringing us down from moving on, to grow and live out a new and higher version of ourselves.
The Past Was Once The Present, But No Longer is Today
If you look around your home today or look at your life, I have no doubt you will easily find one if not many things that are there (in your life) for the wrong reasons. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about the “wrong” as in there is a “right and wrong”, but in the sense that you are holding onto something for reasons that are no longer serving your being.
The easiest example is to look at the material items that we got in the past. Say you got a keepsake from someone that meant a lot to you at the time you got it. As the years went on however, the meaning that this item carries has changed, perhaps even your relationship with that person has changed and yet you refuse to part with the item because you are attached to a moment in the past that symbolizes this item.
Another common example are the people in our lives. Think of perhaps the relationships that you currently have with the people in your life – friends, family, romantic or working ones. Are all of the people in your life empowering and supporting your growth or are some perhaps holding you back from moving on or reaching your higher potential?
While it may be easy to sever ties with say co-workers, most people have a really hard time doing this when it comes to friends, and even harder when it comes to family. Yet the truth is that another being is another being, and as long as we stay stuck in the past, tied to the moment of what was, we are bound to be limiting ourselves and the other person in some big way.
All of us, I am sure have at least one person in our life that we are tied to in some way for reasons that are in no way serving our soul purpose or theirs. Yet our physical limitations are preventing us from freeing both parties involved.
So before we go any further, whether it is linked to sentimentality, obligation or other reasons, many of us have things or people we are tied to today, simply because we are bringing the past into the present moment. This of course cannot really be done, and hence leads many of us to the frictions and distresses that we thus experience daily in our lives.
Compassion Versus Compassion
Okay, so to really drive this point across, let us use a practical example. The example that I am going to use, I once had in my life and find that most of the people I come across today, either had, will have or are experiencing it now.
So let us go back to say your high school or college years. You made a group of friends. You had everything and anything in common and you loved each other’s company. You hung out together, you played sports together, you experienced life together and you made pacts to always be together.
Some lucky few will move with you through your life, grow with you and you will both complement each other’s lives. However, most of these friends will change, just as you will change and as you do, you will find that you have less and less in common. Some people at this point naturally and peacefully drift away and grow in separate directions. That would be the example of letting the natural ebb and flow of things take over. You allow the other to be and experience what they need, and they do the same for you.
However, some of us will not be so lucky. Either due to our efforts or the efforts of another person, a tie or attachment will be made beyond the natural point of things. Even though both people want to and need to move in opposite directions, the fear of letting go of the past, of flowing with change will be too great.
It is in these cases where you find your relationships will be the most strained and just down right draining. Can you think of any relationships like this in your life today?
Some people believe that relationships are supposed to be “hard work”, for some reason especially when it comes to romantic partnerships and that it is not the “loving” or “compassionate” thing to do to walk away. Yet most of us will agree that there is “enough” hard work in this world and the relationships we choose, should be anything but. They should be pleasant, supportive and open to growth and transformation.
So what happened?
What happened is that when this person came into your life, things were great. But you changed and grew, they changed and grew and it was not in the same direction. Now some people at this point can still really appreciate each other’s differences and build on these relationships and learn from each other. This can work, but only if both of the parties involved are not heavily tied to their egos.
Otherwise this will not work, whether it be family, friends or lovers, when people grow apart, some one’s ego usually cannot take it. Now at this point, instead of moving apart and allowing each to grow their own way, many people throw in the saying “Well, that is just not compassionate!”
Think about it:
How many spouses have grown apart and yet will not separate to go in the freedom and direction of their own growth, instead suppressing their being?
How many friendships are held onto out of obligation because you have known so and so for an “x” amount of years?
And now for the big one…
How many family members, whether it be siblings, parents or grown-up children stick together and constantly bicker, fight and argue just because society tells us that “they are FAMILY.”
So now I ask you, is that compassion? Is it compassionate to suppress each other’s growths? Passions? Interests? Freedom?
Is it compassionate that some people are afraid to go in the direction of their dreams, be who they really are and do what they really want out of fear of what their friends, family or lover will say or do?
Is it compassionate to yourself to keep yourself in these situations? Remember you have to love yourself, before you love another. The same can be said for compassion. It is very noble to try to be compassionate to the other, but not at the cost of not being compassionate to yourself first. It does not end up working out for either party this way – it usually just prolongs the painful experiences.
How did we get to this point then, that it is more polite to lie to each other and pretend to be someone else, rather than to be open and truthful about who we want to be? How is that loving and compassionate?
Thus today I invite you to look within and at your own life. Spring is just around the corner and with it will come new life, new growth, new opportunities and for many spring cleaning.
May we be open thus to really examining our lives and being truthful and honest with ourselves and others about who we are and who we want to be.
May we examine what things in our life no longer belong there.
May we examine what people in our lives are holding us back or who we are holding back from living out their highest potential.
May we simply examine who or what is dragging us down.
It is not enough any more for many of us, especially those who are breaking out of the “cookie-cutter” norm to be held back by sentimentality, obligations and expectations. We know today, that this serves no one in the long run.
As you look within, know that moving away from, getting rid of or breaking a tie with something or someone does not need to be cold, cruel or selfish. If it is done right, that is with honesty, integrity and love, then it is one of the most compassionate things that one can do, for themselves and the other.
It is actually much less compassionate to stay with a thing or person where both parties are inflicting some sort of “abuse” on each other just because that is what we are taught is the “right” thing in the eyes of society.
What is right for your soul, only you will know. But you will also know what is not right for your soul, when an item or relationship limits you or brings you some kind of a negative experience or heartache.
In a “perfect” world, or can we say heaven, we will all love each other UNCONDITIONALLY and completely accept and understand when a soul needs to move on to pursue other growth of its own kind. Here and right now, I am not naive to the fact that you may grasp that, but the party you are involved with doesn’t, and so even when done in the most compassionate way, they may take your actions the “wrong” way, as their ego does the thinking and talking. Know though that if you acted with honesty, integrity and love, then you did the “right” thing. That soul may not see that today, tomorrow or even in this lifetime, but we will not move toward a more loving, united and conscious way of life, if all of us will be paralyzed by what the false expectations of society dictate.
Getting rid of something might be the easy part, but I know, acknowledge and realize that in no way is relationship “spring cleaning” an easy thing. Many of us struggle with some of these, most of our lives. However, as we continue to increase our awareness of these situations and grow internally and spiritually, may we find the courage to compassionately break away from the things that hinder our soul’s evolution and impede on the evolution of others just as equally. May all of our relationships be built on unconditional love, support and be open to equal growth and transformation.