Your Changing Nature

Posted by on Aug 29, 2011 in Spiritual | 0 comments

The other day we had some take out from our favorite local Chinese restaurant. My fortune cookie had the intriguing fortune – “A great pleasure in life is doing what others say you can’t”. I got a chuckle and realized there is a lot of truth in that. It also reminded me of the fact that often, if you are on the path of growth and self awareness, your changing nature may pose a challenge to those who know you best.

Everyone forms an image of others around them. It is built, over time, of shared experiences and shared stories. Our natural tendency is to retain that image and to re-enforce that image of the person we know. The more we know them the stronger this tendency can be. There is comfort to our ego process with “familiar faces”.

This can clearly be seen in the process between parents and children. At some point the child has to become an adult, however in the parent’s mind they are still their child. A necessary split has to happen for the child to go out on their own. This dynamic can also be true with others we know and love.

That is why often, in ancient days, when a student approached a Sufi Master and asked to become their pupil one of the first things the Sufi Master would do is to command the new student to move to a new town and to take up a new line of work. The Master knew that the forces of family and friends would be too strong to allow the new student to grow and to start on the path to awareness. Even keeping the same line of work could put them in a familiar routine – the idea was to start the teaching with a clean slate.

Of course in our day and age this is not practical nor even desirable. It thus becomes very important for those who wish to grow and evolve to surround themselves as much as possible with like minded individuals. If those who know you the most and love you the best are also on a path of self discovery then it will be much easier for them to give you the space to grow and to accept you as you do so. Then when you interact with others who may still see you in an old and limited way you can just smile and think of the fortune cookie and take great pleasure in doing what they think you can’t.