Outgrowing your friendships

One of the challenges of truly embracing your life’s purpose, of letting your light shine, of truly becoming all you’re capable of being, is that you’ll be rejected by family and friends.

From Steven Pressfield’s excellent The War of Art:

We know that if we embrace our ideals, we must prove worthy of them. And that scares the hell out of us. What will become of us? We will lose our friends and family, who will no longer recognize us. We will wind up alone, in the cold void of starry space, with nothing and no one to hold on to.

Of course this is exactly what happens. But here’s the trick. We wind up in space, but not alone. Instead we are tapped into an unquenchable, undepletable, inexhaustible source of wisdom, consciousness, companionship. Yeah, we lose friends. But we find friends, too, in places we never thought to look. And they’re better friends, truer friends. And we’re better and truer to them.

It’s such a strange feeling when you’ve made an effort to overcome your fear and express os much more of who you truly are, and people say things like “it seemed like (insert your name here) disappeared”, or “I miss the (insert your name here) I fell in love with”.

Yes, that person that you knew, and that wasn’t the true me, is no more. He’s gone.

But he wasn’t really me!!

I think part of it is just that you grow out of your friends, family, maybe even lovers. If you evolve and they’re not willing ot evolve, or if you simply evolve in radically different directions, and there’s not enough room to have it all, then it may be time to separate.

But part of it is also that as you gain the courage to be more of who you are, you’re implicitly a challenge to their world order. All of a sudden, it’s much harder for them to maintain the self-deception, to close their eyes to the fact that they have settled for so much less than what they could be. It makes it so much harder for them to ignore the fact that their heart is still weeping over all the youthful dreams that were abandoned all to easily.

And then it’s so much easier to shut you out than to admit that painful fact.

I think it’s a natural part of life.

I just think you should be prepared for it.

And like Steven Pressfield says above, don’t worry too much about it. Just know that new friends await you, truer friends, people who love you for who you really are, people who aren’t challenged by the brightness of your shine.

Godspeed.