Today, I am talking about the final section of David Richo's book, When Love Meets Fear. Coming to the end of this book and to end of this year makes me reflect. Starting out this blog, I felt it was very important to share David Richo's words and ideas. I found them so relevant to daily living and the growth of a human being. After all, I am in the business of helping people with these things! I wanted to translate them through the lens of my clinical experience, but also, I wanted to benefit from spending time with these words and ideas on a weekly basis. Originally, I wanted this blog to be time limited and only about this book. However, I have found more and more that I have things I want to say. There are ideas that I come across, whether they are ones that occur to me or themes in my work, that I feel compelled to share. So the change coming to this blog is that I will continue to write on a weekly basis, build a Facebook community for You Are Human and it will not be limited to the work of David Richo, although, I know his words will continue to make an appearance.
On to the final section of the book. David Richo calls the conclusion "When Fight Meets Light". It is an excerpt from a fable about a man who changed his approach from trying to prevent or stop things to moving toward them and being loving. David Richo refers to the notion that it takes some time for people around us to understand and accept the changes that we have fundamentally made. When I was an intern, one of my wise supervisors told me that when people in my life started getting upset with me about the ways I was changing, then I would know I was really doing good work on myself. I have found this to be true across the board.
In our life, we unconsciously create silent contracts with people. When you make a change in yourself, whether it be beginning to create loving boundaries, healthfully expressing your anger, holding yourself and others accountable, communicating clearly about what you want or allowing your ego to be dethroned to be of service to your Self (because that is transformational), you are altering these contracts. Even if that is not your intention. People in your life will have a response to this. Usually, it looks like people getting upset with you and trying to draw you back into the old contract or moving away and avoiding. It might even feel like you are doing something wrong by changing. Which, if you look from the point of view of the old contract, you are: you are breaking the terms. But, that is the point. You make changes to move beyond the old ways. It is hard work to give up old ways and you are only putting in the hard work because you believe it is necessary.
What is often forgotten in this process is the fact that there is loss involved. Yes, you might lose the closeness of a friendship or a relationship because the other person does not want to update the contract. By the way, this is all usually an unseen process, that is not directly discussed between people. Or, it might take some time for a new contract to form. It might take some tension and difficult communication to evolve the relationship. That's OK. It is in service of living in alignment. Some relationships will not have outward tension, but will just drift away. Whenever this happens in my life, I am aware of the drifting and it does not feel good. But I remind myself that this is the way it is supposed to be because the energies are no longer aligned. That helps me accept and let go. And, it has happened enough times that I see that the friendship or relationship returns when it is ready and updated. It doesn't necessarily mean that the connection is gone forever.
I realize that when someone is in the midst of making big changes in their life, it is a vulnerable time, it is a time when reassurance is needed. And, the response that comes from people in your life does not always seem reassuring, at least at first glance. What I want you to take from this is that people responding unfavorably actually is reassurance. Kind of like what I was talking about last week with affirmations and the fact that testing is a sign that they are working. Over the course of David Richo's book, he has given guidance that I have shared with you here about ways to make very powerful changes in your life. And, if those changes resonate with you and you begin to implement them, you will inevitably experience resistance to your transformation. That means you are on the right track!
*This post is written in response to a section in David Richo's book "When Love Meets Fear: Becoming Defense-Less and Resource-Full".