Monday, April 24, 2006

How our role models affect us spiritually

In the last post, I shared a dream about my Grandmother, who has been gone for many years. In that dream, I talked about how, in attempting to adopt the good qualities I saw in her, I also adopted her severity and tendency to be way too hard on herself and others. I wanted to expand on that a bit since it may have sounded like a negative and I did not see it that way.

I believe we choose our family lines. We choose them for the gifts within them and for connections we need to make, to advance our own spiritual growth based partially on our past experiences with them. While I do not have a traditional view of karma, I do believe our soul often chooses to resolve past experiences by coming back into lifetimes with the same people over and over until some soul-chosen adventure is complete.

While it is true that I did not see a lot of joy in my Grandmother's life, and she was so very serious all the time, it is equally true that she was a tremendously focused, disciplined and spiritually clear being. She was unyielding in her service to others and her sacrifice of herself, in service. She gave me a gift.

To me, a gift does not care how you use it. Otherwise, it would not really be a gift. I made choices to use the gift of Grandma's severity to get me through scary relationships and a fear of change. If I felt vulnerable, I became severe. It was a good tool for the time that I used it that way, because it gave me time to soften inside and become more willing to risk. Over time, the gift became an obstacle to further growth and I faced a choice....to continue using it as a shield and to keep myself from crossing some imaginary spiritual line, or to learn to utilize that amazing discipline I saw in my Grandmother, to train myself to seek joy, to walk through vulnerability to the other side of true strength.

So, I guess what I am saying is that we can look at our family relationships in different ways. We can resent what we consider negative tendencies that we learned from our closest role models or we can see them as opportunities to grow, as spiritual gifts we can unwrap in our own lives.

2 comments:

Darius said...

All true, about family ties. But I always wonder about the beliefs usually involved with peoples' orientation toward religion and spirituality.

Of course there are converts, but people usually embrace the ones that are common in their culture. And those same beliefs can sound so strange to others, and are so undemonstrable - like Jesus as the resurrected Christ for non-Christians.

Being Now said...

Darius:

Thanks for your comments and perspective. Of course, I agree that a person's religious orientation as a youth has a profound effect on someone. For example, I was raised very strictly in a fundamental Christian faith.

However, that never prevented me from embracing other spiritual cultures. There was something in my consciousness, even at an early age, that respected the beliefs of others. I don't think I'm all that unique in being able to integrate the faith of others. In my path of spirituality, I have met those of many faiths who can embrace the spiritual vibratory power of a resurrected Christ, just as I myself embrace the White Buffalo Calf Maiden energies, the Buddah's teachings, etc.

Those were religious truths that my religious role models definitely did not embrace but I found the truth in them as strongly as the truth I found in the teachings of Christ.

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