Reality is what it is. We can't resist that fact and be free. When we resist, we effectively nail ourselves to the very spot we're trying to escape.
The Seed to becoming free is found in our perception rather than action. (And I love me some action, so hang tight.) When we can perceive the truth that, like Dorothy in Oz, we’ve really had the power all along, we see that it’s been our beliefs, instead of our circumstances, that have chained us where we stand.
This realization is hard-hitting. It forces us to take responsibility for ourselves in ways we never have before. Instead of just accepting what we’ve been taught, we now start to question everything – which initiates a truth quest, ready or not.
Not the easiest road, but necessary for transformation. We face our challenges, fight the dragon, and if we persevere, we return with the treasure. Except …
The treasure never ends up being what we thought it would be. That’s the trickster nature of the Journey.
And while we eventually feel better, more solid for having gone through the process, we also begin to realize that not everyone is going to be able to appreciate our new perspective. They’re not going to be able to congratulate us on our hard-won liberation.
Our authentic experiences put us in places others can’t always approve of. Places they’re not ready to go and may never be. And that’s okay. They are where they are. It’s not our job to change their geography.
Our job is to honor our own geography while getting okay with others not being okay. It’s not easy (I keep saying that, don’t I?), but you can’t be free if you don’t get okay with this. Non-negotiable.
The desperate need for other people’s acceptance and validation has determined our sense of self and what we feel at liberty to manifest.
And that can’t continue. Unfortunately, there’s no quick way to get there. Like everything else, we have to practice.
We have to stop avoiding confrontation and just allow others to be upset, allow the tension to be between us and not sell ourselves out by moving our boundaries to smooth it over.
There are worse things than their displeasure & social discomfort. Like … continuing to wear the chain – yes?
As humans, and especially, I think, as Americans, we keep looking for the easy route to freedom and change. The one that is fairly short, on an even keel, and doesn’t require too much. One that gives us the sense of movement we’re yearning for, but isn’t threatening to anyone else’s sensibilities, morals or worldview. Because we don’t want mama, or the pastor, or Aunt Edna thinking we’re going to hell. Right?
But that’s just not the reality. We have to accept the journey we’re on, where it leads, what it yields, other’s people’s reactions to it and the fact that all these chips are just gonna land where they land. We’re not meant to control so much of what we’ve been trying to control. (That’s part of the reason we’re so tired.)
As soon as we start resisting any part of this authentic process of Unfoldment, and we try to force an outcome, in essence, we’ve thrown a condition down like a gauntlet.
And because it’s coming from a place of fear and anger, we’re not likely to get it met. So now we’ve shifted into victim mode, complete with a freshly-forged chain. And it will stay there … until we let go and let our Hero’s Journey be what it is without the anxious need for explanation, vacillation, apology or manipulation.
Now. Does that mean we can’t alter course? That we can’t apply the brakes? Of course not. Our responses and choices are what make the alchemical process work. Working out our “own salvation with fear and trembling” means having the conscious freedom to make whatever changes need to be made.
We just shouldn’t be making them for other people. So they’ll feel better about where we are or how we’re morphing.
Caring about people’s feelings is important. But we can’t continually breach our own boundaries and cross ourselves because of it.
And anyway, that caring goes both ways, right? Not just from us to them, but from them to us. We keep forgetting that … in our constant rush to make them okay with us.
Eventually, all the dust will settle and what’s been topsy-turvy will stabilize. And our friends and family will either come around … or they won’t. And it’ll be okay either way because that’s a really kick-ass benefit of walking the authentic path: if you walk it long enough and are faithful to it, you get okay with YOU and your current stretch of yellow brick road.
Because at that point, you’re not in resistance. You’ve made your peace with reality, and if the flying monkeys come, you’re free inside yourself to take whatever action is necessary to keep ’em off ya.
It’s not your fault they still choose to wear the chain.
Catalyst Questions to journal or ponder…
Looking back over your life, what are some of the ways you’ve let others dictate what was possible for you?
Are there specific people you let determine your ways and means?
What is it you’ve hoped to gain – or avoid – by allowing this?
Has it been worth it?
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