When you do things differently from the pack, some people applaud you and some people try to put you back in your place, the place where ‘they’ think that you belong.
Why do people do that?
The best that I can figure is that they are challenged by your lifestyle and when you ‘change the rules’ for your own life it makes them look at their own lives and that is too uncomfortable. So it is easier to demand that you return to your old way of being. They don’t wish to change their thoughts and beliefs; it’s too uncomfortable. Change is uncomfortable.
My mother (a Life Skills Coach) calls this a ‘change-back maneuver’. When you change something, there will be people who ask you to change back. Sometimes it can even be extreme. Like hurting themselves or hurting you. And even the simple words can sting. And they can lash out at the ones that you hold most dear. And they can gossip hurtfully about you to other loved ones or to anyone who will listen.
And it does really hurt. It hurts to be the person to whom it is directed at, it hurts to see it directed at others. It hurts.
I think that this is one of the hardest things to have to go through with friends and family.
But does this mean that you shouldn’t change? Does this mean that you shouldn’t live the unconventional lifestyle that works for you? Does this mean that you should be whoever or whatever it is that they expect of you?
When you are making conscious changes to increase value in your life, why would you stop? When you love your life – where is the ‘wrong’ in that? When you are living your life consciously and not hurting others, what exactly needs to change?
I’ve changed when others have asked me to… both verbally and by their actions. In all honesty, it doesn’t matter how the message comes across, the end result is that I feel resentful of those requests and demands of me. At times, it meant that I needed to step back from the friendship or the family relationship, so that I could see my way clearly again. It is really my responsibility… they really don’t know what they are asking. When I can see my path clearly again, I can step back into those relationships with a firmer resolve and maybe, just maybe, they too can see a different way. But if not, I know to steer away from particular conversations or to share wholeheartedly and be ok with their fear.
I am not particularly religious but this prayer by Jesus kept coming to mind as I wrote this:
“Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
This prayer was as he was dying and he was still being persecuted for who he was.
But he still did not change.