I was asked a question the other day and it really resonated with me.
I was asked, alongside my health and wellness journey (including my spiritual growth), do I project my views and my thoughts onto others? And it made me really reflect on this...
And so I thought that this was the perfect post to uncover some of these elements and what I've experienced on my spiritual journey.
When we refer to spirituality, we often think about terms such as growth, enlightenment, ascension, consciousness etc.
When we refer to spirituality, we often think about terms such as growth, enlightenment, ascension, consciousness etc. Whilst it does encompass all of these elements, I think where we come into danger is when people start to perceive themselves as higher or above others.
We see this in so many aspects of life and society, where one segment of society believes that they are better or more supreme based upon their values, belief and/or way of living. This notion becomes dangerous when we believe that we have a sense of superiority over others. Often our ego often does a very good job of enforcing this.
I see it all the time and to be honest, I used to be the same.
Let me explain
I thought that based upon my life experiences and my passion for health and wellness, that I knew what others needed. I thought that I had the answers. As such, I used to try to impose my views and my way of living onto others. I used to project.
Yep… I was that person
When I started this health journey (I’ve been on it for many years), I wanted everyone to experience the growth that I did. I wanted everyone to feel empowered and whilst I may have had the right intention, it didn’t translate as I wanted to fix everyone... and when people didn’t see what I did, I become frustrated at them. I criticised and I judged them for not being aligned to my way of living, for not being 'enlightened', for living their lives closed off or for being 'ignorant'.
My ego most definitely got in the way. At one point in my spiritual journey, I felt so guilty living a comfortable life when a large portion of the world's population aren't privy to that luxury, that I was ready to sell everything and go and live as a hippy!
Once again, I created an assumption that everyone needed to be fixed. I really had to unravel this need to fix everyone and it most definitely came down to survivor's guilt and the need to please. I also had to reconcile the fact that as human's, we are entitled to life's comforts. Relinquishing these aspects in my journey has been liberating and freeing and whilst most people need to be healed in some aspect (physically, spiritually, emotionally and/or mentally), this responsibility now lies with them. We as practitioners don't heal. God/ the divine facilitates this through us as a practitioners, coaches, facilitators.
Everyone’s path is different
It’s taken me a good few years to learn that everyone’s journey is different. Everyone’s path is different. We are all wired differently, we’ve been raised differently, our experiences (good and bad) have influenced who we are and as such, we all have different perspectives, different priorities and different desires.
Some of these are polar opposite from me, and I’ve learnt that this is okay, because I want a wide spectrum of learnings and experiences that strangers, family and friends can bring me. Conversely, many of my life decisions are polar opposite to my friends and i am thankful that they continue to accept me for who I am!
Studying psychotherapy and counselling has really humbled me. It has made me aware that each and everyone of us has some degree of trauma and we are a byproduct of that trauma. Whilst the trauma is not our responsibility, how we behave, how we treat others, what we project onto others, is very much our responsibility.
So do I project my views still?
It’s a fine balance between speaking my truth, but respecting that this isn’t for everyone. We are all on our own journey and if that involves health and wellness, I'm more than happy to provide advice when asked, as opposed to imposing.
When I met my partner, I was very conscious about not projecting my views onto him and making him conform to my way, after all, relationships are very much a two way thing. Mind you, I was very upfront about the person I am today. I had a list of non negotiables and advised him of these (yes, because boundaries) and these included my perspective on health and the type of life I mandate, not only for me but my kids.
We decided that if we weren’t in alignment, then to call it out and to not proceed with the relationship any further. It created some key foundations of our relationship and mandated what was and is still important to me. Whilst I don’t tell him how to live his life, we do keep each other in check and I’m thankful for this because I need perspective. We all do to be honest. The other person who really keeps me in check is my mum.
As I age, I am also becoming more aware that we as individuals need to go through our own life experiences, independent of others. We need to experience life, its hardships, the good times and all of this will influence who we are and the choices that we make. This will differ for every single person. It’s ultimately what makes us unique.
it takes a shit load of practice to truly
uphold space for our friends
With my friendships, I do need to get better at only providing guidance when asked and rather, just listen. It can be hard and it takes a shit load of practice to truly uphold space for our friends in a non judgement unbiased perspective. Sometimes they hate when I ask them what feels good and aligned for them (not me), but I believe true friends will encourage us to forage our own path forward and not just rely on us for guidance.
In essence, I truly believe that spiritual growth is just that, growth. Fundamentally, we are no better off than anyone else on earth. Once we criticise and judge others that aren’t aligned to our way of living, we lose that. That’s not to say you need to accept anything less than what you deserve. No way. It’s also not to say that you shouldn’t enforce boundaries. This too is crucial. What I am saying is that we need to humble ourselves and remember that we are all human beings trying to navigate a world with many moving parts.
Compassion, grace and empathy help to humble us in all aspects of life. Let’s keep these at the forefront of what we do and remove the bullshit spiritual jargon. We’re all equal, no-one is better off and as such, it’s my desire that every single one of us know and experience our true personal power.
Let me know what your experiences are and if this resonates with you!
© Amie Rule ~ Inner Work Outer Living, 2021