But at one point it dawned on me that every single unhappy day I stumbled through was almost identical to the previous one. And on that day I decided it was time to really change my life—to finally see if I could figure out if ending the pain and suffering was possible and how to do it.
At first I read books on spirituality and applied myself sort of randomly to the task of finding joy and peace. I would spend a little time thinking about how great it would be to have a better life and I’d be excited about it for a while. But then my excitement would wane and I’d find myself back where I started: depressed and nowhere closer to my spiritual goals.
Even though I felt I really wanted it, pursuing a spiritual life by myself was hard. In fact, it turned out to be impossible. I couldn’t stay focused and disciplined and it meant I didn’t make any real progress. My choice to go it alone didn’t work very well at all.
Over time I did make some small progress and life started improving slowly as my spiritual journey became an important part of my life, but it was taking forever and that too was a reason for me to feel depressed about it all.
The real turning point was the moment when one of my first teachers pointed out that, “…it’s hard to return to being one when you are doing it alone.” The way she said it made me laugh and I got it.
Community Paves the Way
Have you ever wondered why so many religions and spiritual traditions have a community aspect to them? When we come together as a group, our energy multiplies and empowers us. It becomes much easier to connect with the divine.
Ultimately becoming one with your essence is about learning who you are and it’s a journey only you can take. The strange thing is, being surrounded by a supportive group and having the assistance of a loving guide makes your solitary journey so much easier. In fact, in some ways, it’s the one thing that can make it possible at all.
Our limiting beliefs are invisible because our beliefs form our version of reality. It’s the old story of the fish who doesn’t realize it lives in water.
When I first started studying with Don Miguel the classes were taught in Spanish. I didn’t speak Spanish, but I knew that this group was where I belonged. It may sound strange, but even though I couldn’t understand the language my life began to change.
The energy of the group enfolded me and helped me feel safe enough to embrace change. It helped me feel confident in taking my next solitary steps on my journey because I knew I had the group to support me if anything went wrong or just didn’t work like I expected.
Eventually, the group became a very, very powerful part of my journey and ultimately helped me achieve my transformation from depressed and unhappy to grateful and thrilled to be alive. Yes, I still had to do it by myself and yes there were always painful and challenging days, but with the group I was no longer alone when I was by myself, if that makes sense. 🙂
Your Filter System is Invisible—To You
I call our belief structure our filter system for a reason. Our beliefs, agreements, assumptions and attitudes filter and distort our experience of reality. We never see reality. What we see is our filter system and we call it reality.
Personal freedom arrives in our lives only when we release our filter system, but seeing our own filter system is almost impossible when we try to do it alone. It’s a lot easier for us to see someone else’s filter system though, and that’s why we are part of a group.
Together, as a group we can see and help each other in ways that are far more powerful than anything we could do alone. We all help each other to see what we can’t see on our own, namely, our filter system and the ways it hides from our view.
Of course, the group also supports you when you forget your goals and wonder where to turn. And we also have the opportunity to support our fellow classmates. In fact, this is an important part of the experience. When someone else needs support, a funny thing happens. As we reach out and help others, there are lessons that we would never have learned had we been sitting in our rooms, alone and unneeded.
So, whether you work with me and our lovely group who get together on the phone every Sunday (as well as online) or another group that’s absolutely perfect for you, I really encourage you to avoid the lone ranger routine. Seek out that group of fellow seekers who will support you on your journey to create a life as wonderful as it can possibly be.
With love and aloha,
P.S. I would love to hear about your experiences of going it alone, or working with a group. Have you tried either, or both? Which worked best for you and why?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts…