“I cannot be the person I want to be because I am overwhelmed caring for commitments and obligations I made previously. I have to finish what I set into motion.”
Really? If you or your life situation has changed, if another way of living is now more helpful to you and others, why do you need to remain stuck living up to old promises? What you live today was created from who you were in the past. The “today-you” is likely different.
Consider: are you different than you were five years ago? One year ago? Do you have new insights and understandings? Are people or circumstances you originally committed to still viable, or have they changed too? If you remain unchanged, then you are stuck. If you recognize change, then why live in today with the choices you made earlier when you were less aware?
When I was nine, my best friend Jackie and I bought cheap matching silver rings at the dime store. We promised each other to wear them forever. She moved away, my fingers grew, and the promise lost its relevancy. My ring tarnished in a drawer until I threw it away at fifteen. Since that time we met once, enjoyed a few hours together, and the subject of the ring never came up. Old stuff. Done stuff. No longer important. The same is true of the decisions I made in my thirties that don’t match up with who I am today. Ditto for the decisions I made a year ago that don’t match me anymore. What are you demanding of yourself that is no longer relevant?
Change is inevitable; the rate of change on the planet today is almost beyond the capacity of the human mind to comprehend. New information arrives more quickly than we can process it. We hesitate to purchase a new computer or cell phone because the next model quickly out dates it. Why then insist that you remain stagnant in your circumstances when personal change has shifted you into a new way of being? No one is to blame when we or our circumstances evolve. The error is to keep living life based on a past way of belief, when one has awakened to a new level of understanding. As we move to a higher level of awareness, we naturally make different choices that create new outcomes. This change from the old way inevitably leads to temporary discomfort, but eventually leads to a greater liberation for all involved. It is like stretching a muscle we have not used for a long time – it hurts but at the same time it feels right and good because we intuitively know it strengthens us.
With a few small steps you can move toward freedom.
1. Let go of unwanted physical items acquired in past circumstances.
Do you really need the juicer you bought when on a new health food craze? The one that sits in your cabinet unused? Why not free it up for the next person who just entered the “juicing” phase of life? What about that chic leather sofa you and your ex bought one day when your life together was happy? Do you feel remorse every time you see it? Why not sell it and get those two red chairs you saw on sale yesterday? Or just sit on the floor with pillows until your ideal sofa shows up in your life?
My friend Dawn was divorced for two years, yet every time she entered her home she felt her ex husband’s presence. The dining set had been his parents. He bought the living room lamps for her as a present and she hadn’t the nerve to tell him she thought they were uuuuuugly! The walls were dark walnut paneling and she always wanted a white room with plants and brightly cushioned furniture. After struggling with indecision for two years, she one day acknowledged her home still held his presence and it was keeping her stuck. “Better to have no furniture at all than furniture that makes me feel ill,” she said. So she held a yard sale, selling almost all furniture. With the proceeds she purchased a used kitchen table with two chairs. She painted the dining set white, as well as the paneled walls. Two thrift store chairs received new bright green and white cushion covers, along with colorful toss pillows. She ripped up the old stained carpet to unexpectedly find a tan vinyl floor which she covered with a brightly colored rag rug. Her home transformed into the garden room she always imagined. This change inspired her to make other changes in her life, eventually leading to a new relationship which was refreshing and empowering.
2. Examine your habits and discard the irrelevant.
Are any of your habits no longer useful? For example: do you always purchase Christmas gifts for your parents, siblings and their kids? Why, when it costs money you really need for a new car battery? Or maybe you don’t know what they really want, so you just get something obligatory that they secretly don’t want and will toss out anyway? How many bottles of unwanted perfume, ties that don’t match your clothes, battery powered singing fish wall hangings, and dry-dry-dry fruit cakes have you tossed? How about announcing to family that this year you plan to celebrate Christmas with prayers for world peace? Or helping out at a homeless shelter? Or curling up at home with a big bowl of buttered popcorn to watch all three Matrix movies? Which is more “you in the now” and which is “the old way of doing it”?
Many years ago we decided to be honest about our belief on Christmas giving – that to give in obligation was not a true gift; to give a listening ear when needed or an encouraging word was more loving. We announced to our birth families that we would no longer give or expect gifts. We would not always attend family Christmas gatherings but instead spend time with our family members outside of the holidays when we could enjoy each other’s company without distractions of holiday expectations and demands. This was upsetting to some, yet others called us to say thank you – they had wanted to do the same but had not found the nerve. Family upset dissolved over time. Meanwhile, we were liberated to celebrate the holy season with our own integrity.
3. Cut old, irrelevant ties
Who do you still contact out of obligation or habit (send those Christmas cards!!!) that is no longer relevant in your life? Do you spend time on Facebook with old school mates when you could be reading to your child? Do you dread the annual visits from your cousins who spew family gossip all over your home? As you change, your friends and connections will naturally change as well. Its okay. Release them with love and appreciation for the value they offered in the past, then set them and yourself free for new relationships more in tune with today.
Ron and I used to love dancing, and developed social relationships with friends of similar interests. Yet as we moved deeper into meditation and study of spiritual texts, we had less and less in common with them. We still loved dancing but found the conversation of our previous friends less and less interesting or meaningful. We attempted to engage our social circle in our interests, but to no avail. We were no longer in the same vibrational reality. We released them, liberating ourselves for new friends with a life focus more similar to ours.
Sometimes we feel a strong karmic connection with a person, and then it seems to fizzle out. Were we wrong? No, we were right. We have simply completed that situation and it is time to move on to “who is next”. As we free ourselves, we also free them for their next opportunity to arrive. This is a subject I’m sure to address in future articles, as these rapidly shifting karmic completions are happening at a fast pace these days.
Choose one action to take and move forward. With each small step your burden lifts a little more. As you feel lighter, you are motivated to repeat the process. Then eagerly anticipate more supportive circumstances unfolding in your life.
I invite you to comment here with your successes!
Obstacle to Soul Self-Expression, #2
“OPO Virus is Rampant”