Constantly working on self-transformation is one thing, but standing up for it is quite another, as I learned from my mentor GD a few months ago. It was the day after a powerful weekend workshop on ending victim consciousness, and we were sitting on his verandah with another friend Shaun. There was a lingering glow of the ecstatic joy and empowerment, but there was still a gnawing uneasiness inside. It was the fear of saying out loud that we did not feel like victims anymore – of standing up as we were. The conversation moved to an important subject I had never considered: the importance of honoring your transformation.
“If you do not acknowledge what happened yesterday,” GD reminded us, “you are actually diminishing yourself. The mind makes you afraid that if you truly ‘own’ your transformation, people will judge you and criticize you. Or, you will fall down and be worse off than when you started. So you often betray your own transformation.”
Shaun spoke up, expressing a common problem: whenever he talks about “spiritual stuff” to others, he feels so nervous and confused, he almost goes into the discussion expecting to be ridiculed.
“The world will always reflect what you think you are inside,” GD replied. “Because you haven’t got faith in your own transformation, your own journey, your own process, you are, at some level, beaming that out to the world. When we are in sync, we say: this is where I am, and there is more to be done. When we are out of sync, we either pretend to be perfect and sermonize, or we go to the other extreme and say ‘I have not really got anything’. But both are not in integrity, and will make us uncomfortable.”
I quietly recalled how it took me many years to come out of my spiritual closet. Ten years in a company and no one in office really knew what I did on weekends. If someone else brought the subject up, I would either dismiss it or diminish it into a joke, but always avoid speaking simply and clearly about it. I did not fit in, but I made an effort not to stand out either. I never acknowledged any spiritual progress to myself either, believing it would be arrogant to claim to be anything but a poor-struggling-seeker. I considered it self-effacing humility, but was it really Self-betrayal?
As GD continued to speak, he put it into a unique perspective: “Remember, that if you can’t honor your transformation, you can never truly honor your teachers. You cannot honor them because you don’t believe anything has really happened.”
Later, I spent some time with myself writing down how I am different from what was five years ago. I realized while writing that the mind habitually weighs us down by noticing one wrong amidst ninety-nine rights – it notices the painful itch, not the healthy body. So doing this exercise sincerely – without trying to falsify, exaggerate, prove or improve anything – felt amazing!
So give yourself this gift today. Take some time off to honor your evolution.
Stunning image used under Creative Commons from AlicePopkorn