The Longest Fight
Every day we fight.
It’s a constant battle to remember who we are in a world determined to make us forget (and a society eager to label us outcasts for defying it’s social norms). We find ourselves assailed on all sides by those wanting to bring us ‘back into the fold’, mostly to avoid facing their own fears, and torn between our compulsion to remain true to ourselves, yet still being a productive member of society. This battle is made all the harder by the fact that we all value different things and the the quest for meaning and truth (placeholder link to What is Enlightenment?) is often rejected by people in favour of material pursuits and wilful ignorance.
The Razor’s Edge
As you walk your path, day in and day out, you will come under fire from others who don’t share your values. It can be subtle or overt; a suspicious or surprised glance, snarky words or commentary on how you choose to spend your time. Sometimes, people won’t even know they are doing it.
They will misunderstand you. They will label you anarchists for rejecting mass government, conspiracy theorists for daring to suggest that some people aren’t inherently ethical and seek to control the rest for their own, personal benefit, or atheists for rejecting the notion of organised divinity (i.e. religion) in favour of a deeper, more personal appreciation of life.
You will be scorned and derided for going against the grain. You will be called eccentric and shunned for your ‘unconventional values’. Those among us (un)fortunate enough to have been born to evangelical families will be labeled heretics or rejects in the face of God. “How dare you have your own idea of what God is or your own practices for bringing Him (it) forth into your world?” These are the sorts of things that will happen to you and you need to be prepared to stand strong against them.
And yet, you will also need to accede to society. Until you are well established on your path and in your self, you will need to play the game. You will need to work to earn money so you can live and at least pretend to be interested in increasingly trivial things so that you can maintain relationships.
Welcome to the razor’s edge; it’s a fine line to walk to balance the deeper needs of you with the needs of society. It will remain a constant fixture in your life until you have developed enough strength in yourself that you can live authentically. It’s not easy.
Finding a balance
The key is to actively maintain your sense of self and your personal practice, while also projecting the illusion of normality. For some, this is easier than others. If your personal rituals consist of yoga and meditation, good news! You can do these while being sociable. If they don’t, you need to strike a balance between your needs and those of society. This is a constant high-wire act as you teeter one way, then the other, until you find your own rhythm, but you will.
Associating with other people like you, such as via yoga/meditation/astrology classes etc (or wordpress!), gives you a chance to be yourself. These periods act like a buffer against the outside world and can be rejuvenating so make full use of them! They also help by exercising your desire to be the unique being that you are, so that when you walk around in the outside world, you don’t feel compelled to do something that would attract unnecessary attention. When the time is right, you can blaze your light as bright as you like, but until then have patience and trust in your path.
Avoid sticking out. Learn the lay of the land well enough to avoid conflicting with local and federal laws, doing just enough to be a decent citizen and not a scrap more. Don’t waste unnecessary energy on being a very good citizen, it’s not required and you won’t be rewarded for it. More importantly, it consumes valuable resources that you need for self development. Just be polite and don’t break any laws.
Resist the urge to make any great declarations (e.g on facebook, twitter etc) especially if you are newly awakened and are still confused about what it means, e.g. thinking you’re an angel or a starseed etc. Talk with people about what’s happening to you by all means, but phrase it in terms they can understand such as personal growth/change. Avoid use of spiritual jargon such as “awakened” because that makes you more visible and they may be jealous or see you as a threat to their world (ego).
Take frequent breaks from spiritual people and affairs. This serves to keep you grounded energetically and in the “real world”, and gives you a breather from the often relentless personal development that happens along the path. It also helps reduce your visibility and reinforce the idea that you are just a ‘normal’ person.
Then it’s just a matter of staying strong in yourself and your path will take care of the rest. It shakes the foundations of your life so that all the unnecessary bits fall out and makes space for what you do need. The trick is to do things that keep you strong and make your heart sing with joy. Anything that doesn’t strengthen or reward you? Get rid of it. That includes negative feelings about yourself, unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, being stuck in a job you hate etc. Find what makes you strong and do it, find what saps your strength and excise it like a cancer, because that’s what it is to your spirit. Show no mercy. Remember that while a strong person can choose to act “weak”, a weak person can’t be anything else (placeholder link to What is Strength? What is Weakness).
Ultimately this is a battle for you and you alone. Only you can figure out exactly what you need to do, but I hope this article has at least helped illuminate the nature of your struggle and given you some ideas about how to find a balance.
Stay strong, if only so you can choose to be gentle and loving. ❤
Comments? Queries? Suggestions? Type them below.
Special credit for this article goes to one of my old mentors, Shriidara. He taught me yoga and helped me with my (then) frustrating inability to meditate reliably. More importantly, he taught me the nature of fighting, how only when we are strong in ourselves, will we overcome external pressures.
Shriidara, your indomitable, warrior spirit remains an inspiration to this day.