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Today I got an email from a homeopathic colleague who once had studied with me.
“The other morning I met a friend who is going through a rough time, feeling numb to life, sick and tired of feeling she has to change herself, hating herself. I was so excited by the potential of change in her situation. Then I remembered working with you about the Gold and even in deepest despair not needing to change anything. This was exactly what was needed here. We spent our time noticing her feelings, her body, acknowledging and feeling it together. She felt more rooted in her body. She said it was the best she felt in six months and the feeling has continued. So I feel grateful.”
The laws of when change happens and when it doesn’t are strange. Actually, they are paradoxical.
The Laws of Change
As long as we want change, it usually does not happen. But the moment we settle down in an uncomfortable situation and relax, things change.
Why is that? It is actually quite easy to understand: The very essence of life is change. So change occurs naturally.
Have you heard of the Law of Attraction? “What you resist persists, what you reject is what you attract.”
Now, of course we resist pain and depression and all the ways in which we suffer. That is natural. At the same time, it is exactly this desire that can be the greatest obstacle to changing the situation. The very act of trying to get somewhere else can block the movement that we so desperately desire. If our desire for change is based on a choice for something that we joyfully envision, then change is likely to occur. If, however, our desire for change is based on a judgement of, or on a resistance against, where we are right now, then change will either not occur, or occur very slowly, or only by use of enormous effort.
Paradoxically, the moment we can relax into our pain, into our discomfort, in that moment of non-resistance, things change. Freedom opens up and with it choice, the choice to change.
This is not a new discovery. We find it in the oldest scriptures. In the Tao Te Ching for example it says: “The journey of a thousand miles begins right under your feet.” We need to arrive where we are, before we can move somewhere else. We need to settle first where we are, before things will or can change.
Simple, isn’t it? The only problem is: How can we relax when we are suffering? This is the real challenge.
There are ways to relax even if they are not always easy.
One situation many of us might remember is, when we had a fever in our childhood. Mom would put us into bed, give us herb teas and made us rest and when we were lucky, grandma came and told us a story. We were not alone, we relaxed into our fever, the fever could do its job and fight whatever viruses or bacteria had affected us, and a few days later we were out playing again.
Another beautiful way was described in what you read in the opening comments. To have someone with us, who listens, who feels with us, who sees us. Someone who’s not trying to fix us, or save us, but who is present with us, simply present. Often, things change when we are not alone, when we are seen and understood in our suffering.
A committed practice of meditation helps us to relax, even in difficult situations. I cannot recommend this enough. (Start with twenty minutes in the morning and twenty minutes in the evening. When you stick with it, your life will change).
Homeopathy is another possibility. We give highly diluted and highly energized remedies that in their crude form can create symptoms and as a remedy can heal similar symptoms. For example, somebody might have a strong reaction to a bee sting. A homeopath would probably give a remedy made of a bee poison. The remedy helps us to make peace with what is and as a consequence life moves on, the swelling settles, the pain stops, the itching decreases. It is so elegantly simple.
“Life has an astonishing way of taking care of you when you no longer mind what is happening.” (Krishnamurti).
Yet what is said so easily, what all the masters expressed in one way or the other, is not always done so easily.
One thing I urge you to remember: When you are struggling, reach out. We are not meant to do it alone. Our nervous systems are built for connection. Stop making things more difficult than they are anyways. Reach out!
Did you ever experience a difficult situation that resolved itself when you relaxed? Maybe you want to write a comment and share your story. That would be great!