Pressure from friends, loved ones, partner and others.

One of the most common reasons why people resist the path, and avoid doing the work to clear their karma with more sustained effort, is peer pressure. When a person begins the Path, it is inevitable that they will be surrounded by loved ones, friends, family, colleagues, and others, who do not understand this journey of Self-discovery and Freedom. The ego is easily frightened by what it doesn’t understand. It worries that if you are sincere and committed to your growth, that maybe you have joined a cult, a sect, or a movement in which you could be brainwashed !! The ego of others has many reasons to fear you going Free. Even though your growth is the best thing that could happen for all those in your life that you have relationships with. First off, the ego fears what it doesn’t understand.

Another reason for their subconscious fear is that, as you grow, you begin to be less dependent on your partners, friends, family, etc, for their love. This of course makes you much more able to LOVE THEM. Because when you feel dependent, there will be fear and resentment. But other egos do not understand that. So they try to control you, talk you out of pursuing your growth, and put pressures of all kinds on you. It is very common for your partner to organize something terribly important, a once in a lifetime family gathering, “a special weekend away just for us, after all this time”. Urgent obligations, sudden crises arise out of the blue, in order to take you away from pursuing your Path (including attending retreats). Much of this may even by unconscious. I.e., it may not be consciously manipulative, but nevertheless it is the expression of others’ fears. They may tell you that you are selfish, that you don’t care about them, don’t love them, or else they will be cold towards you, withdraw love from you, whatever will most arouse your fear and need for approval. If your mind tells you that you need that person’s approval more than anything else, you will be trapped, and you will not pursue whatever it is that supports your growth (a gathering, a retreat, time alone, etc). For you, this is almost always a test – a time-honored test that all must go through along the Path. It is like a ‘rite of passage’. If you are able to make growth more important than having the approval of your child, parent, lover, spouse, friends, etc, then you are taking a giant step towards being Free. You must remind yourself that to pursue your Path is the least selfish thing you can do, and that all around you will benefit from your growth and greater capacity for love. To begin with, they may become angry with you, or even ridicule your sincere intent for growth. Later on, they may become inspired by your example. If you cave in at this earlier stage, then you are only being controlled by your own fear, guilt and ignorance.

You can see it this way. The people you have around you who are resistant to your growth, are nothing other than the reflections of your own consciousness, the parts of your own mind that are still resisting your growth and Freedom, even if consciously you are committed to this more than ever. As you begin to make these hard choices, and opt for your own growth and Freedom, then you find that you actually acquire the inner resources and strength to deal much better with peer pressure, and to let go of wanting approval. Whenever you choose growth, Grace will make it possible for you, and will help you through all the obstacles, including the financial ones. Many of you have already experienced these ‘little miracles’. Even if you don’t know how you manage to get through a situation, Grace will provide a Way where there was none. You will see. You will reach a point where you really see that your growth is the greatest gift you can give all your fellow beings, especially those closest to you, and no part of you will be divided about the overriding importance of walking your Path. When you get to this place within yourself, you will notice that you will have no-one around you opposing your choice for growth and Freedom.