Some of my own family members and friends are at the very least not interested in what I do, and at the most, downright resistant to it. Some even view it as useless psycho-spiritual blather. More than a few don’t even read my blogs—what I consider to be pieces of writing straight from my core.
While I still get pricked when I get wind of someone that I am relatively close to not appreciating or sometimes even belittling my life’s work (which in my case happens to also be my great personal joy), eventually it behooves us to realize that not everyone, even those closest to us, is going to believe in what we do or maybe even see whom we really are. But hopefully, we can accept their lack of interest and sometimes lack of acknowledgment and still maintain the courage to forge ahead with our own unique path.
Just because an individual is our spouse, child, parent, sister, brother, or close college friend does not mean that we will grow in the same direction and desire to express ourselves in a similar way.
From my perspective, our most precious gift to one another is to allow and invite personal growth, but this is simply not a reality in many of our relationships at this point in the collective consciousness of humanity. Paradoxically, all too often in some of our closest relationships, another’s growth is actually, either consciously or subconsciously, felt as a threat due to unhealed imprints and wounds from their past.
Too often, we hold ourselves back from being fully ourselves because we sense that those whom we love do not approve of our expansion. The truth is that we can remain stuck in roles for years and in some cases an entire lifetime to fit in with what others desire us to be. But at some point, to be truly free, we must break away from old family patterns and dynamics and move into our most authentic self. And YES, it can be hard. We all desire to be accepted and loved…
If I had not officially come out as a soul nurturer, a career that literally embraces all that I am in my heart and soul, then I would not be a fulfilled individual. Period.
While on the outside, I may have appeared to be living a fulfilling, happy life, on the inside, there would not have been inner harmony. I know this to be true in the very deepest part of me. The call of the soul was simply too strong to be denied.
And yet, many people don’t get it. Many people don’t get me. Many people don’t believe in it. Many people feel that I am full of s**t. And you know what, beyond a prick that passes within a few hours, if not before, I have become okay with that.
I cannot force anyone to be turned on to what I love. I cannot force anyone to love what I do anyway, for no other reason than because I am the one who does it. I cannot force anyone to show support just because they love me. I cannot force anyone to hold the space for me to share what lights me up just because I do the same for them. All of the above must be a desire that comes from within each individual, and it has taken me a long time to accept this truth.
Relationships are powerful pathways to personal growth. Seen in this light, if pricked, there is always something being reflected back to us upon which we may choose to contemplate.
For a long time, I wanted everyone to like what I did, I wanted everyone to like me. Now, while that is still a nice thing—icing on the cake—I’d much rather BE ME and DO ME than have someone like me. One day, almost by surprise, I recognized that the self-love had become big enough and strong enough and sustainable enough that it simply tipped the scale in that direction.
So, please, don’t expect your loved ones and close friends always to get what you do or even to fully respect it. They don’t need to. YOU need to. There are plenty of others who will cross paths with your offerings who are attracted to them. Let that be enough and become truly free…
Warmth and LOVE,
A modern bridge between the mainstream and the mystical, Annie Burnside, M.Ed. is a soul nurturer, award-winning author, and teacher specializing in parenting, conscious relationships, authentic living and spiritual development. Her book “Soul to Soul Parenting” won the 2011 Nautilus Silver Book Award. Connect with Annie on her Facebook Pages and engage with her on Twitter @annieburnside