“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”
When you set your feet on the path of spirit, you will notice that things change for you. I don't mean that you will begin to prosper and be enriched by the blessings of the material world. Actually, just the opposite. You will notice that it is harder for you to fit in, harder to make small talk while drinking champagne. You will have more difficulty with the values of a culture that says you must strive to “succeed”, which means make as much money as possible, and place yourself among the people who can further that agenda. Here in the South, it's important, as well, to belong to a church where you will be most likely to meet such people.
The lure of the collective is strong. For one thing, you may have grown up in a family who bought into the idea that success is synonymous with making money, so it seems normal to you to strive for that kind of good fortune. Many of us spend our whole lives committed to that effort, only to find that it really doesn't bring us happiness or contentment. Regardless of that, when you pull up stakes and set your feet on a different path, don't expect support from the tribe. When you decide to forgo the cocktail parties and the raves for something more meaningful, you will likely not be applauded. You may even be thought...well...strange.
The payoff is owning yourself; refusing to sell your soul to the values of the tribe. Beginning to see yourself as a spiritual being having a human experience means that you are comfortable enough in your own skin to befriend yourself. You can choose your relationships based on heart connections and kindred spirits, rather than for the purpose of furthering your network. When your heart opens up, you see all people as having equal value, and equal purpose, whether they look like you or not. You do not fear the stranger for they are no longer strange. They are your brother or your sister on the path to wholeness.
In the Spirit,