Having read what I wrote before about what I did right and what went wrong, I was reminded of another important issue–how to deal with resistance from your family and friends and loved ones as you are making this transition. In my case, this resistance was primarily self-imposed because I would not share the thought process I was going through as I wrote about before. But the resistance is real no matter how well you communicate with those closest to you.
So, how did I make my way through these challenges? Two things: compromise and quiet determination.
There is nothing so depressing in this process as coming up with brilliant ideas for how you will do things in this wonderful new life you’re designing, and the folks who are important to you are non-plussed at best and resistant at worst.
But in these moments I try and remember this: 1) part of the resistance was created because of my communication style, and 2) compromise is my companion during this transition.
There is no doubt that when you are totally excited about a new development for your new life, compromise is often the last thing on your mind. You’re filled with the spirit and you want to act now. But, the reality is, whether you are married with kids living paycheck to paycheck or single and independently wealthy, making a lifestyle change like this will require compromise. This is especially true if you are seeking your true path, and not simply the idea in your mind about what your true path is. This is a struggle we all have to grapple with as we pursue the lifestyle that aligns with what we were put here to do.
For me, this idea is closely related to an idea I talked about in a previous post. The idea that yes, you do get to choose the path that you go down, but precisely how that path manifests itself in the universe is mostly beyond your control. The ideas that are kind of thought out in my head–the ideas that fill me with excitement and passion are just that: my ideas. Mine, and sometimes mine alone. 😉 What the universe has in store for me actually might be very different and that is why I say that compromise is my companion throughout this journey to my new lifestyle.
I also mentioned quiet determination–to be like the water coming up against the rock. The rock changes the waters path, but the water wears down the rock and smooths out the edges over time.
Quiet determination has been my ally throughout this process. Lifestyle changes like this are not common and therefore are not embraced by many people that you will come in contact with. This means that, more than at any other time in my life, I get told ‘no’ by people and forces outside of me. A lot (really). All. The. Time.
And for me, the best way to get through this is to always remember the long term play–I am fundamentally changing my lifestyle. I’m moving from a corporate job to teaching and performing music. No matter how many times I am told ‘no’, not matter how any times I need to compromise, no matter how many times the outside world resists what I’m doing…I still move down that same path. The path of what I was put here on earth to do. The particular manifestation of the path may change, but the path never changes.
I say quiet determination, and the ‘quiet’ part of this is also important. I do realize it’s part of my personality, so your mileage my vary.
Being determined is, of course, very important in this process. But doing so quietly, I think, helps avoid a lot of unnecessary confrontations and arguments. I don’t feeling this is necessarily avoiding an issue, and ‘kicking the can down the road’ (although that is a danger that you have to keep in mind), I think of it more as simply agreeing to disagree. Between myself and the source of resistance to my plans, sometimes we just need to lay down our arms, agree to disagree and move forward on our paths.
Hopefully I’ve explained myself clearly here–this is hard to write about. And yes, there are certain compromises that simply can’t be taken if you are to stay on your path. But…you’d be surprised how many you can make and still be on your path.
In fact, many of these compromises will make your journey down the path stronger. That’s because these actions–even though at the time they seem to ‘weaken’ your position–they can actually make your path more real and tangible and service-oriented out there in the real world. This makes it more than simply an idea that you hold in your head–it makes it something that is of real service to your community and those around you.
I find that these compromises, at least for me, tend to send me back to the idea of service. In that way, a compromise is a good way to keep me focused on serving others.
Thanks for reading–cheers!