I’m a liar, thief, cheat, bully, and manipulator. I admit it. And as I reveal that side of me, I’ve upset a lot of people. It takes a true warrior with heart to bring shadows to light, and transform them.
In the last week I have had two people respond to my social media posts by telling me, “You should not be giving relationship advice.” The first person argued that only people with PhD’s are qualified to make money as relationship counselors. The second person responded to my Facebook Live about the instinct to murder by saying in essence, “Those who need help themselves should not be relationship counselors.”
I agitate people because I say things “you are not supposed to say.” I realize that being a Breakup Specialist and charging people for counseling might seem exploitative. “You are taking advantage of people in a vulnerable position.” People who are in pain because of loss are vulnerable. People who struggle with low self worth are vulnerable. People who are hungry are vulnerable. And a primary focus of marketing, that I didn’t invent, is “put pressure on their pain point.” However, there is strength in our vulnerability and paying for help is a very vulnerable act. Investing in help changes people let alone the conversations we have that provide non-judgmental perspective.
I also recognize that I am still healing.
I have killed off my meaningful relationships time and time again.Sometimes, destroying things makes me feel alive. Does it make me less qualified as for my position as a “healer”? Maybe. But, more than this, it challenges my commitment to be transparent, stay congruent, and speak the truth.
I share all of this to say, that the first sign we are on a right path or path with heart is resistance.
We learn disapproval of our behavior early in life through parental conditioning. This then forms into survival strategies such as suppression, compartmentalization, and projection. As we grow up alongside care-givers, abusers, and teachers we practice different versions of these strategies until they turn into our identities.
It’s important to note that when you come to a crossroads in your life where you commit to a new way of being–more open, transparent, more focused, and go against what you have known; it registers as a risk. What I’ve found to be true is deep commitment to personal growth is met with both internal and external opposition. It’s as if the laws of nature are asking, “Are you sure you want this?”
As a caveat, in the western world we are programmed to think that people who have wealth are also people of virtue. In fact, they just have access to large-scale creative expression as well as massive destruction. An example of this is the oil and gas industry. As the saying goes:
“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required,” Luke 12:48 (King James Version.)
In my life it sounds like, “You should not be doing what you are doing.” “You are dangerous.” “You are causing harm in people’s lives.” I’ve let this stop me before. I quit trusting in my own authority. And people do get hurt when we finally stop being who they have known us to be or something that doesn’t fit into the “safe” version of what we should be.
The true test isn’t in overcoming resistance, but in being persistent. Resistance only represent the end of one thing–a minor death. The true sacrifice comes when we are deliberate in our motion forward. The “can’t”, “won’t”, “shouldn’t” messages that arise both internally and externally must be met with focus and determination. It is not determination of the mind, but of the heart.
Life-force-energy congregates in this middle place. It takes energy to have your shadows exposed. Often we fail to change in the middle place and run back to what was familiar. But, if we lean into the heart, we will find the bravery to be with the transformation, and the courage to persist.
Then, there is a moment, where critical mass is reached and there is no going back. The message of the heart has found its way into the world. It may be presented as a whisper at first, but over time, with practice it becomes more consistent.
New authority is established. The journey of rebirth from a child crippled by an outgrown system gets purified through overcoming resistance, gaining life force energy by being persistent, and the heart’s full expression anchors in through consistency.
The phrase that sums this up the most is, “We are all walking each other home.” And, in my experience, it’s the ones who provide resistance that are really showing us the way to walk our path with heart. Bless the test and walk on!