The Loneliness of Personal Growth
The cream rises to the top. That means that it separates itself from the milk. Perhaps that is what the New Age Movement is really all about. We tell ourselves that it's lonely at the top. Yes, it is. Maybe we have to figure out how to maintain ourselves as cream, but also stay whipped up within the milk? I'm picturing some sort of luscious desert all decadent and wonderful... like hot cocoa with the marshmallows stirred in rather than just floating on top. But then the marshmallow is no longer a unique wonderful treat, it's been broken down into the masses and lost it's integrity. It's a different lesson that comes into play after you've experienced a decent bit of enlightenment and growth.
Look at the kid who grows up poor. He travels along his journey and decides to change what he is experiencing. So, as he moves through life, he makes a conscious effort to enlighten himself about how to create an abundant lifestyle. He eventually accomplishes his goals and has a wonderful house, cars, money to vacation with his wife and children. His kids won't have to work so hard. He has their college money stashed away right alongside of his retirement fund. He is abundant, successful, and rich. What are the chances that the friends he grew up with are still around? Not very good. Most people who experience the fulfillment of choosing to succeed in that area end up having to leave their friends behind. Often family members will get upset and shun them too. He is treated like some sort of a bad person for having succeeded while his peers failed. Eventually he has to find new friends and maybe even new family.
It's no different with political enlightenment, spiritual enlightenment, or even becoming enlightened about relating to each other. The more mentally healthy you become, the more spiritual, the more balanced, the more wealthy, the more global you become... the more alone you may feel. Often, we find ourselves unable to find those other rare individuals who are choosing the same path as ours. The path of sloppy and lazy is full of other people to meet and talk to. The path of whiners is full The path of being safe, generic, and boring is so crowded you almost cannot even move forward. Isn't that why you left that path? You had a need to move forward, a need for some elbowroom, a need to spread your arms wide, a need to be seen as special, unique, different. The masses may admire you, but they are not going to be able to really relate to you. You will be alone much of the time.
The best thing that has happened to those of us on this particular path is the Internet. The planet just got a whole lot smaller and we can find our colleagues. The percentages of us versus them have not changed. We are still in the minority, but at least we can find each other and encourage each other to hold strong. Knowing that there are others out there who are just like us makes it easier to hold our heads up high, throw our shoulders back, and say loud and clear, "I am what I am and I am not ashamed and I will not hide anymore." This holds true whether you are standing up proud to be a Christian, or Gay, or New Age, or amassing wealth, or raising your kids to be more than just disgruntled employees. When you become enlightened in some area, it is wonderful to find out that you are not alone, and through the Internet, you can find cheerleaders.
Yes, I suppose some could gather up their numbers and start wars and battles over religions or whatever else, but as we become more and more enlightened on all levels, I think we learn to appreciate the value of being on all paths. We learn that it is not important for all people to represent 'light' and to try to outshine the 'dark'. Without the 'dark' the 'light' has nothing to shine into. Those whom we deem as 'dark' actually give us purpose. They give us a reason to shine our own 'light' The act of war in and of itself is 'dark' and therefore you have lost your own 'light' while participating. I am not about to claim that I am above such things, just that in that moment of aggression, my own light does not shine no matter how valiant the cause.
I think it's the loneliness of personal growth that scares us into thinking we have to convert everyone else onto our path. Sometimes, it's an innocent zealousness over our newfound ideals and beliefs, but when people get really focused on converting others, it's usually out of a need to feel better about the sheer numbers. How many of us use the statistical head count of those who agree with us as proof and validation that we must be right? If you continue on with your own personal growth long enough, you will no longer require any one else's agreement to validate who or what you are. We are a social animal and as such will always hunger for connection with each other. But we will not always need to agree with each other in order to connect on a heart to heart level.
Do not be afraid of the loneliness of enlightenment. Do not force others to agree with you. Simply give your heart and know that you are growing and that they are free to grow or not. It is the nature of the game. We are all free to choose our paths. Even in going so far as to kill someone for their belief, you did not change their belief, you just weakened your own cause. If we are truly spiritual, then we must be able to allow others the privilege of being wrong!
Copyright 2004, Skye Thomas, Tomorrow's Edge
Skye Thomas began writing books and articles with an everyday practical approach to life in 1999 after twenty years of studying spirituality, metaphysics, astrology, personal growth, motivation, and parenting. After years of high heels and business clothes, she is currently enjoying working from home in her pajamas. Go to www.TomorrowsEdge.net to read more of her articles and to get a free preview of one of her books.