Last week I participated in a discussion where one of the participants was struggling to accept the spiritual awakening they were experiencing. Today we will look at some ideas that can help us to balance our spiritual awakening with our existing beliefs and behaviors.
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On the one hand
I was a part of a discussion last week where someone was struggling with some new understandings. They were saying that they heard a lot of truth in what was being discussed and they were being drawn to that truth.
However, this individual was being torn by their current beliefs and behaviors. Most of us experience the same conflict as we begin to travel our spiritual path. We have an existing way of living that we think we know. For some reason we have become unhappy with that life and are searching for something else. When we find something that resonates with us we can get torn between the two.
Today we will look at an example of how to begin the resolution of this internal conflict. An approach that I have used is to start by placing both hands in front of you. Imagine one hand – let’s say the right hand – as holding the new understandings. Imagine the left hand as grasping your current understandings and behaviors.
Let’s take a look at the left hand first. In that hand you have your current understandings of spirituality, religion, your relationships, your family, and your possessions. Whether you realize it or not, your unhappiness is also in your left hand.
At one time we all thought that everything we ever need would be in this hand. After all, what more do we need? We are trained from birth that we do not need anything more than family, religion, possessions, and relationships.
Let’s look at the last item in our left hand – our unhappiness. If everything we needed was in our left hand then unhappiness would not be there. But because that unhappiness is there we have decided to look outside of that hand.
On the other hand
The reason that there is something in our right hand is because of the unhappiness we found in our left hand. Somewhere we sensed that the unhappiness was strong enough to cause us to look for something else. That something else became our newly found spiritual path.
We have begun to travel that path and have discovered a lot of things that will not fit in our left hand. We put those discoveries in our right hand and start to ask ourselves what to do with them. Many of these new understandings are clearly in conflict with what is in our left hand.
The problem is that these new understandings resonate very strongly with us. That resonance is so strong that we know that we cannot drop these new understandings from our right hand. Now we are being pulled very strongly by the attraction to our right hand. Yet we are attached to the familiar and comfortable things in our left hand. No wonder we feel torn between the two.
What to do, what to do
The resolution of this feeling of being torn can be a challenge. There can be many steps, but we will start with the first step. I am sure that this topic will come up again in future posts. Anyone who wants to discuss this topic further can make a comment on this post and we can begin the discussion immediately.
Here is how I solved the internal conflict between my left and right hands. It took awhile, but I eventually I came out the other side much more peaceful and happy.
My first step was to acknowledge and accept the situation. In my left hand I had a bunch of stuff that was familiar, but that was causing unhappiness. In my right hand I had other stuff that was pulling me very strongly. The stuff in my right hand seemed so truthful, yet I could not let go of what was in my left.
Eventually I accepted that my unhappiness was in my left hand along with all the other stuff. I realized that it was that stuff that was causing the unhappiness. This did not mean that I could let go of it easily. It was just a realization, but no action had been taken.
Likewise I realized that the stuff in my right was leading me towards my true happiness. Even though I could not yet let go of the stuff in the left hand, I could try to utilize some of the things in my right hand.
At first it was simple things. Like beginning to see that happiness comes from inside, not outside. Then I learned more about the true self and the false self. I looked at what spirituality really is and I even started to understand that fear is a behavior that we learn.
Don’t get me wrong. All these investigations did not happen immediately. I was very attached to my existing beliefs and behaviors in my left hand. I would merely dabble my right hand in the water of my new understanding to see what it was like.
Gradually I began to see that the only thing in my right hand was my true happiness. Every time I went back to my left hand the only thing I found was my unhappiness.
It took many years of dabbling to convince me to let go of what was in my left hand. After that it took more years of changing my behavior so that I was no longer holding onto what was in my left hand.
Eventually my right hand won and I am much more able to notice when my left hand is holding on. I am also much happier.
To summarize how to resolve the internal conflict that usually comes when we start on our spiritual path – trust yourself. Your true self is in your right hand. Your false self is in your left hand. Trust that your right hand will guide you towards your true happiness. After all, your left hand has never given you any happiness. Why would it start to do so now?
That’s all for today.
Until tomorrow –
Es kava turen hai
We work towards an identical goal.
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