I’ve often slammed up against other people’s walls in my pursuit of happiness.
It’s that feeling when things are growing and moving and you are doing great in your life and suddenly you see that the people you love just aren’t moving or growing and suddenly as you reach out you meet their anger, fear, trauma, cynicism and limitations. But you’ve worked through lots of your own heaviness to get to a place where you could expand, feel and live more unlimited… So, you know that they can, too.
It’s sort of a buzz kill to see that other people aren’t as willing to do what you did, breathing through the panic of making those phone calls, spending the marathon days taking ideas and making them real, investing the time into self-love and self-stretching…
So there’s a choice it seems: stop growing or risk losing lots of people.
Lots of people choose the first option. I did. It was easier to scale back on my own leaps forward to be sure that as a “good person” I stuck right beside the people I loved who were not moving forward. I sidelined my plans. I was “practical” and gave up opportunities. I said no to jobs that could have catapulted me to the top of the art world, I took a back seat in photographs, off to the side, I stayed home rather than staying connected to what moved me…
After all, we have to sacrifice for the people we love, right?
The third option- though- is what I feel real love actually is… And it’s the option that has the potential to transform the people and the places around you. Inspiring change.
Its easy to complain, to feel stiled, to see the stuck places and people… It’s easy to say, “The world is going to hell”, focus on what is wrong or claim its Utopian to imagine a better place to be. It’s also quite easy to stay stuck, even though it’s exhausting and sad.
What if you could move ahead with the intention to lift up the space around you… loving people for who they are whether they choose to come with you or not?
What if you could actually “be the change” rather than just idly talk about it with other people who half-heartedly talk about it, as though its an alien concept?
That’s what the ideas of today are about: choosing to grow as the best way to inspire your world.
It’s not easy being a leader. You may feel “attacked” by negativity. I’ve been told I am “annoyingly happy” at times or “living in rainbows and unicorns” land. The word “unrealistic” applies here over and over again to me and my vision.
The thing is, I came up against my own limitations that were mirrored around me in my home and my life and the people in it, and one day I decided I would change anyway. Even if I wound up alone.
What happened was surprising.
More happy people appeared.
More unlimited opportunities came to life that I had just talked about for many years.
More love than I could ever imagine became possible.
More excitement came into every day.
A few other things happened.
Vampire people eruped in rage at me and sort of disappeared when I refused to cower.
Chaos ensued when I made new choices that I had to figure out.
A mountain of fear popped up and I had to breathe through it.
And then… suddenly… looking back over a year I saw how my best friends became healthier than ever. My friends who were traumatized by life as I was started decluttering their own lives. My family started to grow and risk and move. Even the dogs became more of “themselves” and owned their personalities!
It’s far from perfect. But years of begging people to change and trying with my mind and all the resources I had to get people help they didn’t want all failed so miserably and exhaustively that to see what happened when I let go…
You can do it, too. Maybe far more easily that I did.
Decide to secure your own happiness no matter what. That means, even if you have to leave the house every day for a few hours early in the morning to hike or meditate or do work that no one thinks you should do… do it anyway. And do it without guilt.
Compassion. Its not easy most of the time if you care deeply, but real love is basically just a ton of empathy and compassion without judgement, you know? Don’t shame, criticize or judge people even if they are attacking and shaming and criticising you for the changes you are making. Don;t try to chanbe anyone. Don’t try to change anyone. Don’t try to change anyone. Don’t try to change anyone.
Did I mention that you shouldn’t try to change anyone?
Your want to change people can most often be recieved by those people as offensive, controlling and really judgemental.
That’s sort of the opposite of helping.
Let the really dark stuff go. You might be surprised at the vampire stuff that is around you. If its really dark and it just can’t co-exist with your life, the stronger you are in your own self-love, the more willing you will be to let it go. Not every vampire person has eveil intentions… but every vampire person will be stuck as a vampire if you let it stay that way.
When you let go of vampire people, in my experience, you stop perpetuating their problems. After all, I have been a vampire person. Have you?
I’d say for a good year of my life at the darkest point I was so desperate and confused and traumatized and lost that I pulled on everyone around me. The more people said “no” to me the more I was able to grow. In fact, it was when life cut me off from people and landed me at home 10 years ago recovering from an illness that I shifted far away from that scary pattern of co-dependence.
People have a better chance of getting well if you rip off the band aid and let them figure out life for themselves. I did. I know others who did. So, trust that you can walk away from what drains you and still be compassionate.
Change your space.
The more you change your space the more you will be able to expand. In fact, the more your space is glowing the more your life will glow. And, inspired spaces will alsao inspire the people around you without your “want to change them” getting into the mix.
Ancient churches were made to be so grand and angelic and opulent to inspire awe and heighten spiritual experience. Amazing gardens have been dedicated to meditation. Art became a vital facet of culture as it offered a portal to another place much higher than day-to-day life.
You can bring all of this and more to your space.
Clean up. Clear out. Create spaces that make everyone feel more alive.
And… breathe through the fear. Its normal. If you unblock a pipe that’s been clogged you will watch lots of sludge come out the other end before the pipe is clear. That’s what you are doing in your life: clearing the pipes. Let it all go. If you know you are making the right choices the far will blow over…and incredible things are on the other side of it!
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I could so relate to this article. Whew! It is scary when you see the people you love turning on you in rage. I was shocked and hurt when a dear friend recently turned into one of those vampires and turned on me. It was so unexpected! And confusing too because I am happy with the way my life is changing right now. I know that she is not happy nor does she feel able to change her life presently. So your comment made me laugh and feel better at the same time! “Don’t try to change anyone. Don’t try to change anyone “.
Thanks for helping me find my compassion:))
Another amazing post. I am happily opening the numerous “gifts” you have generously shared on your blog and loving them all. So many things about life that I have sensed and felt but could never put into words like you can. Happy dance!
I’m so happy you are here Susan!!! xoxo