In my travels I have found it curious that the moment people experience discomfort or suffering, how quickly they run towards what they perceive will make them feel better. They convert from one religion to another, from one yoga practice to another, from one guru to another, from a Christian name to an Indian name or vice versa, from Christianity to Buddhism and the list goes on.
If one could run so quickly from their suffering it would indeed be a happy world. Instead, nature requires you to understand who you were, who you became and who you truly are. For transformation to happen an effortless flow within your consciousness must be established.
How can you change something if you don’t understand what it is you are changing? Transformation is impossible if you are unaware and lacking in understanding and acceptance. We must reconcile through understanding what we deem as conflicting in our lives before running to another side.
Running from conflict will keep you running for a lifetime. Your avoidance is fear and wherever you go your fear goes with you until you decide to turn and face it.
On my journeys I came upon a kriya yoga ashram run by some Canadians. It was amazing being introduced to middle aged Canadians and Americans who had adapted names such as Mother Ganga, Raja Ram, and Lakshmi Mata. They had given up their Christian identities claiming to find peace with their newfound Indian identity. As the day worn on it was easy to see that the identity swap didn’t work as the suffering of these individuals was heartbreaking.
To convert is to run from and towards something. When understanding is cultivated all running stops and the need to convert no longer exists.
If you feel the compulsion to change yourself and create a new you consider this first:
1. What do I dislike about myself (or, what am I running from) currently? – As an example: you may say “I don’t like the hypocrisy in my current religion.” Through self-inquiry ask, “What is it about this hypocrisy I specifically do not like?” Think of what is relevant to you as you go through this process.
2. When did I first feel this way? – Continuing with the above example: focus on your heart and reflect back to the past and ask, “When was the first time I experienced this feeling?”
3. What is the understanding of this? Continuing with the above example: focus on your heart and ask, “What is the understanding of this experience?”
4. What am I hoping will change if I convert? What is my motive?
Anything we dislike will always have an opposite that looks better. Converting is an intent to change what is making us feel uncomfortable. Discomfort should be questioned not avoided.
A mind of clarity understands that discomfort helps us to evolve through expanded consciousness. Choices should be from a mind of clarity not a mind of fear, imagination and fantasy.
It is a fantasy to think life is only to be lived in the positive. Life is meant to be in flux not stagnant. Life is not about positives and negatives and running. Life is about keeping the balance and the only way to do that is through understanding. Once there is understanding acceptance will naturally follow.