Calming DownWords for Hard Times

Being Open to Change

By December 25, 2008 No Comments

Alan Searle writes that more than we change, our level of awareness of what is inside of us changes. I agree, and find that when I experience really powerful change, often I am really experiencing a new allowing or awareness of something that has been within for some time.
If we are doing inner work, the evolutions and change we experience in our lives speed up. Layers of illusion get stripped away at a heightened pace. Meister Eckhart wrote, “The soul grows not by addition, but by subtraction.” As we let go of illusions, of what’s not true, of what’s not resonant… all that is inside of us, waiting to be uncovered, honored, and merged with is revealed.
I’m also reminded of what Martha Beck says about the “I don’t know” periods of life. She writes that when we are stuck in a major life question or decision, when we are sitting with a wall of “I don’t know,” it is never true that we simply don’t know. Rather, we have an internal conflict: we don’t want to bring the truth into consciousness for some reason. Perhaps its not consonant with our identity, it necessitates major life change, or the direction we would need to take is scary. Most often, it threatens our idea of who we think we are, who we think we need to be, who we think will be approved of. Facing and acting on the truth requires a giving up of ego.
This, writes Carolyn Myss in the Interior Castle, is why humility is so important to the spiritual path. She argues that humility is not simply essential because it’s a noble quality, or because selfless-ness is holy, but because our inner guidance will challenge our ego-mind’s worldview and our ego’s plans. Our inner guidance’s instructions will be in sometimes conflict with our commitment to always “look good,” to fit in, to be successful in the world’s eyes. Ironically, it requires great humility to simply follow one’s inner guidance, because our inner guidance may ask us to do something that will not be popular. It may ask us to make a change that will disappoint people. And it will certainly ask us to do things that feel risky, that challenge the status quo. We need a kind of humility to listen.

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