When anyone works on their spiritual growth & personal development or starts to build an awareness around who they truly are there are a few key changes that accompanies any in-depth inner work. These key changes & awarenesses are, but certainly not limited to;
1. How you show up to situations. You aren’t trying to meet others expectations of who you should be, playing small to fit in. Now, you come as you are, a naturally confident and more grounded whole human being. Because you’ve done the work in personal inner growth, you see things in a new way. You will show up differently. In the beginning, you might be aware that you are feeling new and alive. But it will also be a very natural and somewhat familiar feeling. At some point, it may not occur to you any longer unless of course, someone compliments you by saying, “You seem different. Did you change your glasses?” It will lead to the next thing…
2. An awareness that some of the people in your life no longer feel good or okay to be around. This is a hard one to swallow. I speak with some experience here. It doesn’t feel good to walk away or leave a familiar setting on any terms. Some people you have kept company with just won’t feel right anymore. You have become aware of who you want to be, learned the lessons of the things that kept you stuck and finally know what you want in life. You will feel confident in what you want without second-guessing and you no longer will you feel the need to ask for other people’s opinions. In other words, you will only seek validation from yourself, not from others. This also means you won’t tolerate things in the same way. I know there are a lot of blogs, and articles that talk about getting rid of toxic people in your life. I think it is important for us all to remember that these friends were attracted to you and you once were to them because of similar wounds. Labeling them is not part of the spiritual awareness or growth nor, and I feel strongly about this, a wise self-developmental tip. You have freed yourself from those wounds so you don’t see those friends in the same way. But they are not toxic. They are hurting. You know their pain better than anyone as you just recovered from it. We all have to make our own choices and create our own paths to healing. The best thing to do here is to send them the compassion they need and move forward with love. Karmically speaking this will free you even more! This brings us to the next one,
3., The feeling of loneliness. You will be standing up for yourself. That means your preferences, your ideas, and your opinions & thoughts. That may mean you will probably revamp your entire social circle. You will feel lonely. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Eventually, you will begin to find a new group of friends. But it can take some time to find your footing in this new place of growth. You are stronger but feel off. It is because the comfort zone is not the same anymore. This is the reason for the loneliness. Be patient and give yourself time to adapt. This is where meditation can be the most helpful. Or long walks if meditation isn’t your thing. I know this seems strange to say. But listen, you have run away from yourself for a long time. Take time to get to know yourself by enjoying the loneliness. It can really make you stronger if you understand how to love “you” more.
Being on a journey of deeper self-awareness myself, I know that it requires a lot of self-love & forgiveness to get through the times of feeling alone. In times of change with a lot of perspective-shifting what I have noticed is that it requires a lot of releasing, healing AND even some mourning. I love people. I have great compassion towards friends and family. Most of the time forsaking myself in the process. Once you know who you are (and want to be), aware of the things you did to stay small, you can’t go back and try to “fit-in” for the convenience and sake of others feelings. Brené Brown wrote in her book,Braving the Wilderness: The quest for True Belonging and the courage to Stand Alone, (abridged version):
“I know who I am. I’m clear about that and I’m not going to negotiate that with you…..I’m not going to negotiate who I am with you because then, and I think this is the heart of the book, then I fit in for you but I no longer belong to myself. And that is a betrayal I’m not willing to do anymore…I’m not willing to betray myself anymore to fit in with you.”
The most important person you can ever stand up for is yourself. Sometimes it is a lonely game but later as you travel through the wilderness, as Brené puts it, you will feel strong and encouraged when you find that you don’t need anyone outside yourself to find true love. It exists when you decide to belong “nowhere and no place” as Maya Angelou said and is also quoted in Brené’s book.
What changes or awareness do you recognize in yourself of these 3?
Do you have a few more to add?
Share them with me in the comments.