“Surround yourself only with people who are going to take you higher.” Oprah Winfrey
I’ve been thinking a lot about friendships.
How does my circle of friends reflect my own values? Are my relationships feeding my soul? Is my social life lifting me higher?
I recognize a yearning and I want to be aware of whether it can be satisfied from without or within. And so I have shuffled through a list of wants and needs.
In a friend…
- I don’t need constant attention but I want to be seen.
- I don’t need hours of intense philosophical discussion but I want to have meaningful conversations.
- I don’t need my friends to agree with me but a sense of shared values creates a solid foundation.
- I would love to have spontaneous friends but realize I must then develop my own ability to be spontaneous.
- I don’t need to hear religious or spiritual beliefs, but I want to see and feel that the lives of my friends are on a path toward truth and compassion.
What I call a higher power, another may call God, Allah or Nirvana.
What I call spirituality another may call higher conciousness.
Perhaps the answer is simply to remain open to my life’s purpose and meet other students along the way.
There is beauty in the path to change.
I just returned from a month’s stay in Italy. While there I began Deepak Chopra’s latest 21-Day Meditation Challenge.
Since I have re-established meditation as a ritual in my mornings, my life has changed for the better. So, although I would continue daily meditation without his challenge, it is good for me to hear the homily each day. It helps me focus on aspects of my life that I might ignore.
Day 17 is about loving change. It reiterated what I have always said, “I like change as long as it is my idea.”
Change is especially difficult for me in my own environment. It seems that if I do something twice, it is a habit. And even harmful habits quickly become a way of life.
In a flicker of a thought in this meditation I realized why I travel alone for periods of time. It is to pick myself up and place myself in a situation where change is inevitable. I must examine who I am and what I do on a minute-by-minute basis. There is no one else on which to foist off the truth.
I follow the life lessons of Oprah and step out of my own box. I change.
And I try to bring the changes home with me.
I am astounded. My self-discovery is taking me on voyages into the uncharted waters of my life.
I have read Deepak Chopra for years. He constantly asks me to strive for self-referral. Oprah’s lesson is the False Power of Ego. And Eckhart Telle would also have much to say about ego: the need for the control, the need for approval, and the need to judge. (Some of that for another day.)
What do I have to say to myself? How did it take you so long to figure this one out?
When I have been forced to evaluate the difference in who I want to be and how I want to live in juxtaposition to how I have been doing just that, it requires a hard look at why.
I have tried to blame it on everyone and everything. The truth is simply that I am constantly on the lookout for what others are thinking and feeling. If there are various groups and I can’t please everyone, I suppose I please the group most like my own tribe. After all, that’s where I have lived all these years.
When I write “pleaser”, another mini-shock ripples through my psyche. In all my years of calling myself a pleaser, I have never looked at it from the viewpoint of seeking approval. Rather, I have felt that pleasing was some sort of subjugation of my own needs in order to serve those of others. I may not have thought it was a good thing…but I didn’t get that it would never work.
Then, after all of that pleasing, I vainly been trying to figure out how to “take care of myself”.
What a tedious waste of time!
I know that it’s all interrelated and I am gobsmacked by the intense resonation that I have hit on something big in my life.
I have foundered on the shore of approval.