I Woke Up And My Friends Were Gone!

friends hanging out at the mountains

I have a birthday around the corner and I had the following conversation with my wife…

“This is a big birthday coming up, what do you want to do?

“Thank you for asking, my love. I haven’t  thought about it much, to be honest. Really, it’s just another day on the calendar to me.”

“OK, well, do you want to have a party, or go out with friends maybe?”

I thought about that. And it brought into full focus something I had been feeling, sensing in the background, for quite a long while. Something that I think I hadn’t been quite ready to fully consider. Now, here it was, staring me in the face – and it wasn’t going to be so easily swept under the rug this time. It’s as if it was saying…

“OK birthday boy. I’m here. I’ve been here a while now. And this time I’m gonna stay right here until we work through this. OK? OK!”

So that was it then. I was going to have to deal with this less than intrepid interloper that was horning in on my happy week.

Here it is, unvarnished, real, raw…

When you set out on a path toward awakening, your social circle begins to shrink. Not only that, the dynamics of your family relationships undergo a significant re-tooling as well. All of which can be extremely unsettling and outright disorienting.

The first thing to understand here is that this is completely normal and has been the case with every soul who sought to wake up since the first human being set out on the journey. You are not alone in this respect. As a matter of fact, you are in the company of some of the most extraordinary people who have ever walked this earth, so take heart.

As your path begins to take you further and further away from things like ego, consumerism, fundamentalism, gossip, excessive use of intoxicants, small talk – the list is pretty extensive – something begins to shift. Not only how you relate to the people in your life but how they relate to you. For the most part, they are confused and begin to feel like they don’t really know you anymore – and they would be right. It is essentially impossible for them to have any inkling of the transformation that is happening within you. Just as impossible as it would be for  the dreamer to know that the person laying next to them in bed is awake.

As for you, you begin to feel an undercurrent of discomfort in circles where the old paradigms dominate. As your eyes begin to open, everything looks and feels different. For many, it feels like you are hanging around somewhere that you really don’t belong. Your friends, and to a certain extent your family, sense it too. They may become increasingly ill-at-ease around you because, well, you aren’t really you anymore, at least not the “you” they are familiar with.

Nobody, of course wants to acknowledge the obvious, much less outwardly and openly discuss it. So what tends to happen is slowly, gradually, the distances increase, the encounters become fewer, and a birthday approaches when you are asked…

“Do you want to have a party?”

And that’s when you realize that you don’t particularly want to spend a milestone birthday with the same people you would have not all that long ago. BAM – there it is, sitting on your door step. Only this time it won’t leave until you invite it in and offer it some nice refreshments – until you get to know one another a bit.

Human beings are highly social creatures. It is hard wired into our DNA by evolution in an effort to keep us alive, to pass on our genetic material. So when we sense our social circle decreasing in size and scope, something very primal within us begins to panic. Our amygdala goes berserk. Again, completely natural. The fear response will subside – it always does.

Awakening, enlightenment if you will, is a highly destructive path. All manner of habits, relationships, perspectives, rituals, even identities get obliterated in the process. This can be unsettling on some days – downright terrifying on others. This is precisely where so many turn back – back to the perceived safety and comfort of the known. But, the obstacle IS the way. The discomfort is the gateway to the unimaginable love, light and peace that we have always suspected, somewhere deep down, has been there waiting for us all along.

So I will spend this birthday with only a precious few souls – and I’m glad for it.

That’s exactly how I want it

That’s exactly as it should be.

That’s exactly “the way.”

Check out the podcast episode…

Check out the Happiness 2.0 Podcast – https://podcast.edwardgdunn.com/

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