Qn: I googled “ I have no friends on the spiritual path” and found your blog. I am a 60-year-old woman on the spiritual path and I awoke at age 44. It has been a tough road for me as I developed OCD, Anxiety Disorder, and Schizo-Effective Disorder. Everything is quite manageable with medication and despite everything, I do however feel very blessed.
My dear, beautiful mother passed away last year at the age of 96 and she was such a beautiful soul filled with so much equanimity ~ I miss her wise counsel so much.
I have had to let go of two major friendships this year because they were very narcissistic (one of whom was an elderly lady whom I was helping on a weekly basis). The other lady played on my kind nature and got me to drive her everywhere to all her appointments and to take her shopping as she had no car.
I finally gave up the friendship when I became physically and mentally exhausted to the point I thought I was going to have a mental breakdown.
The only other friend I now have is with a lady I used to work with and it is a forty-year friendship however she has become quite dogmatic with her religious views and says repeatedly that I am destined for Hell and the Lake of Fire believing in reincarnation and the spiritual path that I’m on.
Her views are becoming so fanatical that I find myself distancing myself from her to the point I am very much alone now with no friends.
So I let go of these people and although I was alone, realized I was in a much better place than having to suffer at the hands of these three friends.
I had peace and quiet and then my adult son and his dog moved into my very small apartment 3 weeks ago until he is able to find a house to rent. ( There is a great shortage of houses to rent here on the Gold Coast in Australia.)
My son suffers from adult ADHD badly and also suffers co-morbid extensions of his condition with Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder with a lot of anger and aggression. He afflicts a lot of psychological damage on me and I have never been under so much mental stress in my life.
I took him in temporarily because as his mother, despite his medical conditions, I have the biological pull that wants to help her son or he would have been homeless. I just keep wondering, “ What have I done to deserve this?”
Things were progressing quite well for me without obstacles and now this. My internal mind is shattered on a daily basis now not only because of my son but his dog Finley is quite out of control. I also think to myself, “ What did I do for my son to be born with this aggressive condition?” Did I do something in a past life? I really don’t understand the ‘why’.
I guess I am writing to you because I am so stressed and so alone.
I have asked the Universe to please put a spiritual friend in my path but still, I am very much alone.
I do believe my son will be able to get accommodation for himself and his dog eventually so it is just a temporary state of disharmony in my apartment. (However quite unbearable disharmony.)
I am waiting for the Universe to put wonderful, positive things in my path, and I guess we all have obstacles every now and then to face even on the spiritual path. I enjoyed reading your blog very much about your awakening and your spiritual path.
Ans: Your stumbling upon my website was not a coincidence. I’m so glad that you wrote to me and expressed yourself honestly and beautifully.
The universe created the mechanism for us to communicate, and I believe we’re already in a friendship bond. It’s so heartening and encouraging to know that you feel blessed despite going through so much. That is all that spirituality is.
You know, at the time I wrote that article I was very lonely. I was fed up with people telling me how to live my life. I was fed up with friendships, relationships, and associations that kept me hostage to a narrow way of thinking. Letting them go without resentment was the best decision of my life. I wish them well.
My own experience of peace was so profound that everything paled in comparison. And since then, I have come across so many kind souls. It has been such a wonderful experience where we share our thoughts and experiences. There are no judgments. No prescriptions. No dogmas or rigid beliefs. Only “being present” for one another.
Our imperfections are a part of the divine creator’s perfect plan. So why should we ever live with guilt or shame? Once we know our true nature, these imperfections are accepted for what they are. We are much more than we think ourselves to be. All of our problems stem from identification with our limited existence.
It’s okay to let go of people who play on your kind nature. Let them go with love. They are on their own journey, and at some point, maybe in this life or another, the universe will guide them to the ultimate truth. There’s no point in feeling guilty for leaving someone.
It’s not “you” who left them. It was the universe that ended that role. Your karmic association with that person came to an end.
“The only other friend I now have is with a lady I used to work with and it is a forty-year friendship however she has become quite dogmatic with her religious views and says repeatedly that I am destined for Hell and the Lake of Fire believing in reincarnation and the spiritual path that I’m on. “
I sense that her saying such a thing is more about her own fears than you. She has an idea of Hell in her mind that she’s projecting on you. Maybe she herself thinks that she’ll go to Hell. Fear debilitates us. She’s unwilling to take a look at her own life and unconsciously projecting her poor psychological state on you.
Why would a loving God send his children to Hell? Then what is the difference between a tyrant and God? God is not looking for your subjugation. The bible says, “But thy will not mine be done.” Why would God give you beliefs or put you on a spiritual path in the first place only to condemn you later?
My teacher Ramesh Balsekar described “original sin” in his own interpretation. He said that the greatest sin is when the individual assumes the subjectivity of the pure subject (or God). When someone says that you’re going to Hell or Heaven, there’re assuming the Will of God and pronouncing judgment on his behalf, which in my opinion, is the root of all evil or doership at its core.
I just keep wondering, “ What have I done to deserve this?”
Your situation with your son is temporary, and I’m sure he is on his own journey. I’m sure he will find his path sooner or later. You have done your bit. What happens afterward is his destiny and the Will of God. Sometimes life puts us through challenging situations, but the nature of life is transient. Things change. Change is the only constant. This too shall pass.
And I know this does not bring any relief as the momentary pain is excruciating. What we truly suffer is our own thinking mind. Suffering always happens either in the dead past or an imaginary future. There is no suffering in the present moment.
Nisargadatta Maharaj beautifully says, “Between the banks of pain and pleasure, the river of life flows. It is only when the mind refuses to flow with life and gets stuck at the banks, that it becomes a problem. By flowing with life I mean acceptance – letting come what comes, and go, what goes.”
When the dream of life is over and the curtain is drawn, we’ll know that the people who gave us a tough time were most instrumental in creating a spiritual change within us. However, this does not imply that we put up with bad behaviors or abuse.
Putting up with abuse or resigning in the name of fate is also assuming God’s Will. Sometimes you may have to express your discomfort and set up boundaries. You’re not responsible for how the other feels. Each of us has to sort out our lives ourselves.
You can offer compassion and understanding, but you cannot make others “do” what you think is right for them. They only have to decide what’s right for them. They have to learn from their own experiences.
I also think to myself, “ What did I do for my son to be born with this aggressive condition?” Did I do something in a past life? I really don’t understand the ‘why’.
You know, even if these questions had answers, they wouldn’t do a thing to help the situation. The mind is really not looking for answers. It’s looking for peace, which comes from stillness. Peace of mind in daily living is my only message. And that too has to come from your own experience and not my making you believe anything.
When you’re questioning life or assuming things, all you’re doing is burdening your mind. The created objects (us) can never know the Will of the creator subject (God).
Let the questioning happen without resistance and see where the questions come from. And at some point, you’ll find, through your own experience, that the source from which everything emanates is the real YOU, which is nothing other than unconditional love.
I can understand the pain of loneliness and not being to share true feelings with someone. But when you discover the source of unconditional love within yourself, all suffering comes to an end. The universe woke you up. The grace is already upon you, so why worry. It will do the rest.
Live the dream with love and acceptance, and the love will come to you.