Never is a mighty long time

Nora with Cat.

I have a person in my life, one who is very dear to me, and I’m pretty sure I’ve figured out just what she should do to resolve the issues that cause her so much trouble. From the outside, it’s seems kind of obvious. The thing is, every time I’ve made a suggestion or pointed out what she’s doing to cause her own troubles, the advice doesn’t land. She resists doing the very thing that I think would help her to improve her situation. She isn’t ready or willing. The time isn’t right. Or perhaps, the answer needs to come from within her instead of from me.

It’s also possible that she is engaged in her own very personal process that I’m just not privy to, precisely because it’s that… personal. And it is also possible that there is something at work in her life even if it doesn’t look like a spiritual path. Because there are those early days of one’s spiritual journey—times that feel so difficult or painful that something has to change.   Or those days when it seems like we are doing everything ‘right’ but still something is missing. Sometimes something happens, something significant, and touches us in a way that can no longer be explained with any explanation that we’ve used in the past and there’s a spark.  There’s an opening to something outside of ourself.

Why was our tool created to be so messy? Particularly for those who aren’t willing to do the work, will they never find a spiritual path?

This question, posed by KP some weeks ago, left me to consider, if someone isn’t willing to do the work to look at him or herself, then they aren’t willing. I’d say willingness is a requirement to engaging with a spiritual path.  But just because it appears that someone isn’t willing doesn’t mean that it’s so.  All sorts of things are at work in people’s inner lives. I’ve had to learn to trust that people are on their path, and it isn’t my work to be the instrument of someone else’s transformation.  See my loved ones where they are.  Just do that.

Maybe this question is really about the accessibility of spirituality. If the process of connecting to something spiritual inside of us is difficult, is it possible that it is too difficult for some? And if it, say yoga, isn’t available to everyone, then is that a system that I want to engage with? Is this non-egalitarian pursuit something to put my faith in and try hard to practice and learn?

I’ve seen that if someone is willing then there is a way, and yoga, or another spiritual path, is accessible to anyone who’s willing, whatever their starting point. It’s a one-step-at-a-time kind of thing and you take the first step from where you are and in a way that is meaningful to you. Then you head somewhere. You go in a direction and end up in a place that you haven’t been before.


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