Growing pains

Client: Listening to your first recording on the Magic of Manifestation series (Being)…

You talk about replacing worn old slides of memory that drag us down with new ones to help us move forward in a positive way. Well and good. How does one deal with the fact that the process of replacing the old with the new inevitably transforms us so that we are no longer the familiar blueprint that people in our lives interacted with?

How do we deal with the guilt of being hit with the negative undertones of “she’s changed” and the fact that many aspects of our life seem to want to fall away with the old slides gone? Some would say we don’t need them but it’s a lot harder when the things that don’t gel any more were hitherto infrastructural in our lives, so to speak.

Shomit: I’m glad you raise this point about the problems implicit in growing away from the blueprint that the people around us find so familiar. In some cases, the people around us may even (unconsciously) want us not to grow – so that we continue to depend on them, perhaps – and thereby make their lives more fulfilling as a function of looking after us.

There are a number of ways of dealing with the negative undertones of “she has changed”. (Much of this is dealt with in later sessions, but these should give you some guidance for the moment):

1. Realise that the comments people make are usually a function of their own emotional “baggage” (the need to “look after” you, for example, or to be someone you confide in). That baggage is for them to deal with, not you – and this applies no matter how close you may be to them.

2. Selfish as this may sound, your principal responsibility is to yourself, to your own growth. That is not to say that we should all care only about ourselves; sure, we must be compassionate and helpful to others. But there is a difference between helping others – and taking responsibility for their growth. Ironically, it’s when we refuse to be held back by the guilt you mention, it’s when we insist on moving forward, that we actually help them – by not permitting them to live from a place of insecurity, and by being an example of the growth that they may one day seek to emulate.

3. At a much deeper level (which you will get to around Session 9), all growth presupposes the ability to relinquish not just what doesn’t work but also what did once work but no longer stretches or challenges us. We are talking here about non-attachment – even to the most seemingly fundamental “infrastructure” we may have created around us. We see infrastructure as support; but infrastructure may become a prison. Letting it go doesn’t mean abandoning everyone and setting off for a desert island (though it is telling that many spiritual figures do this – Jesus in the desert, Ram/Arjun in the forest, etc ); it means freeing us of our dependence on them – and freeing them of their perhaps unwitting dependence on our dependence on them!

Hope this helps. Do write if you have any further questions.