STRENGTH IN THE FACE OF SKEPTICS
As spiritual warriors, we have all come a long way on our path. We have twisted and turned, upped and downed, spiraled and been still. We have all come face to face with our darkest places and won the battle. And we keep going because we are bold forces of nature!
As brave and strong as we are, we occasionally still encounter those who do are not on the same journeys that we are. Sometimes, these people are family, friends or other people we see on a regular basis. And sometimes, because these people are so close to us, they can have the power to get to us the most.
As spiritualists, we study and do our best to abide by the tradition of kindness. This is easy, of course, when going about our routine… until we are challenged by someone who is skeptical of what we think, who we are, and what we practice. We have all had this experience at one time or another. Because the population of enlightened humans is rapidly growing, it is important that we pass onto them how to appropriately handle skeptics and nay-sayers.
Here are a few points to consider the next time you are faced with someone who challenges your spirituality:
1) Avoid defensiveness! Our human brains are hardwired to react in a negative way to anyone who challenges us. The reality is that this knee-jerk reaction will never go away. What we CAN do, is know that we have a choice when we immediately feel this way in the face of confrontation. We can either fly by the seat of our pants and get into an argument that will likely leave us feeling worse than when we began it, OR we can choose to acknowledge the feeling of defense and let it go before any words ever leave our mouths. Once we let go of the immediate defensiveness in the face of confrontation, we can allow ourselves to act out of love.
2) Act out of love! Referencing the above, our reaction to other people’s challenging of our path can result in acting out of ego if we are not careful. As easy as it is to claim that we do not act with ego when we go about our day to day lives, in certain situations, it can be very easy to slip back into the human condition and become defensive. Not only will this often make the other person equally defensive, but it will likely negate any opportunity you have to discuss each other’s points of view with compassion and respect.
3) Empathy- Empathy is a key component in living a spiritual lifestyle. By being empathetic, we can understand where the person is coming from, and that they are entitled to their own opinion. Most spiritualists know that we do not know everything therefore it is not our place to call anyone “wrong” for believing that spirituality is a false belief. By empathizing with our challenger, we can begin to accept that not everyone is on the same path that we are. We are all evolving at different rates and we are all born with different circumstances that will get our souls where they need to go when the time is right.
4) Avoid involving yourself in the other person’s drama. Dramatic people generally have a low vibration. They attract drama because they feed off of it, and often other people get hurt in the process. When we are dealing with dramatic people, it is important to listen intently and be a good friend. However, once we find ourselves engaging in the drama of others- whether it’s toward us or about someone entirely different, we are invoking the dramatic person’s karma upon ourselves. When we are conversing with dramatic people, we may find that we tend to “energy match” that person. This means that we get into their energy instead of maintaining our own. The more intense their energy becomes, so does ours. It’s important that we recognize when this is starting to happen so that we make a conscious effort to maintain our energetic balance.
5) Remain objective and detached- It is important, when communicating with people who don’t share our perspectives, to remain objective. This way, our emotions to not come into play in our responses. Once we begin to get emotional in context of a disagreement, our ego gets in the way. We always want to lead by example. More often than not, people who are not yet spiritual will connect a lot more to what we are saying if we provide them with objective reasoning, free of emotion. Also by remaining detached from the outcome of the conversation, we leave lesser room for judgement. It is important to remind ourselves to avoid judging others, as we are all on our own individual paths, and we are all going through our trials and tribulations at different paces, each perfect for the individual undergoing them. We must always respect where others are at o their journey- even if they don’t seem to think they’re on a journey at all!
6) Rise above! – If you find that you feel like you’re “under attack” by those family members or friends who do not share your points of view about the environment, animal rights and any kind of spiritual practice you are walking, taking a step back and reaffirming who YOU are, apart from the judgement of others is of primary importance. By taking a moment to regroup, to reconnect with what you have worked so hard for, you can rise above any challenges and skepticism brought on by external sources. By rising above, you are remaining detached from the drama of others.
7) Other people are NOT your responsibility! –As much as some of us would love to, we wish we could rule the world and persuade all of humanity to see things through our eyes. This, however, is not up to us. For we are only responsible for ourselves. The more we try to force others to believe exactly what we do, the more we are incurring their karma. As spiritual warriors, it is our goal to do the opposite of this- it is to heal our own karma and stop creating new. By focusing on improving yourself, you are (again) leading by example. By maintaining a higher vibration, you will inspire others to do the same.
8) Remember not to be offended by other people’s beliefs and actions- They are most likely not intending to offend you. They likely lack the kind of empathy that we have worked our while lives to live by. It can be quite trying at times to feel like we are part of the same species as some of the people we see on the news doing things we would never do. It can be quite difficult not to judge them. However, if we keep in mind that everybody is o his own journey and that it is always of highest consciousness to rise above the drama of others, we will find a small space in our hearts to send these “evil-doers” love. For they need healing the most.
Aside from these 8 points to consider, there is one final point that is perhaps of most importance: BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!! Once you truly understand who you are, once you truly love yourself, nothing can hold you back from being who you are truly meant to be! And nobody- not a family member, friend or foe can ever take that away from you!
STAY TUNED FOR PART 2…