Removing Barriersby: Gerald Lee Jordan
date: 27 September 2021 (NZT)
edit: 27 September 2021 (NZT)
The Normalising Mind
Our minds are able to normalise almost anything. Over time, we become comfortable with so many things. With some of these things, we not only become comfortable, but we suffer when they are removed. We begin to see these things as part of our own identity. Part of self-actualisation (or the spiritual path, if you prefer this terminology) is to re-examine the things we have normalised.
Examining Your Life
As we look at our lives in a new and fresh way, we begin to reconsider the things we have blindly accepted. Exploiting animals was part of this path for me. Like so many, I grew up believing using others for my own pleasure was acceptable. When I tried to challenge these notions, others around me promoted the arguments which had been pushed to them when they doubted the rightness of these actions.
Sadly, my family tree includes slave owners. My mother emailed me a Last Will of a great . . . grandfather who had willed his slaves and land to his children. For this person, owning others was acceptable. He had probably even convinced himself that he as doing a public service by enslaving others. This knowledge brought me sadness. I am certain our progeny will think similar thoughts of us for our exploitation of other beings on this planet.
In 2014, I realised that I was responsible for so much pain. I became vegetarian, believing this was enough. Four years later, I realised that I was still responsible for such very much pain and became vegan. My mind opened in a way that is difficult to describe. I began to look around me and I saw other worlds - I saw the world we have created in our ignorance and I also saw the world that is possible when we open our hearts. Nothing in my years as a religionist - including my undergraduate study in Theology - compared to the spiritual experience of being true to my heart, to removing the hypocricy of my life and living at peace with myself and others. I cringed the other day as I thought of my very last bible's cowhide cover. Violence wrapped in violence.
Removing Barriers for Growth
What barriers for growth exist for you? What are you refusing to reconsider, review or examine anew? If you feel stuck in your life - if you feel bored - it might be that you haven't worked through what already exists in your life. It is easy to imagine that a change, such as moving to a new place, will make things better. The reality, though, is that you will take the same you to this new place. Work with yourself where you are now and you will realise that so very much more is possible in your world.
Gerald Lee Jordan, MBA, MEd, MCouns ❤️