Understanding – The Key to Change
Time and experience have taught me that unless I understand an issue at all levels, I cannot bring about a substantial transformation in my life. Understanding is the key to long lasting self-transformation and self-management, happiness, peace and a life filled with wisdom. Why is this the case? Simply because it is only when I have a deep understanding that can I have a REAL-ization about the real issue.
Remember those times when you realized how something worked? For example, using an apparatus or kitchen appliance for the first time: It looked and sounded so complicated as you read through the instructions and the manual. However, that ‘AHA’ moment comes as soon as someone shows you, or you realize how it worked. That’s when we use the age-old phrase: ‘It’s easy when you know how.’ Now those words make total sense!
Real change and realization cannot just come from being intellectual, but that realization has to come from the depth of the heart. The head can rationalize, but the feelings deep inside that something is or is not right, that is our intuition and it is usually our most accurate guide. Deep change can only occur when we feel the need to change from inside out, and not just from the outside in.
For example, everyone knows that smoking kills. Every time someone buys a box of cigarettes it says so very clearly on it – ‘Smoking is bad for your health.’ There is a story of a man who continued to smoke even though his doctor was telling him it would kill him. In the end what made him give up smoking was the desperate appeal from his small daughter, who said one day: ‘Daddy, I don’t want you to die’. That child’s plea had managed to touch his heart, even when logic could not.
Another example is that we stay stuck in toxic relationships, never admitting the pain we are causing to ourselves. We stay there because our lack of self-worth tells us it’s better to belong than be alone, even if staying there is painful. But it is only when our internal sense of self-respect gives us the feeling that, ‘I deserve better’, that things can start to change. Then I realize the pain I am causing to myself, and I decide to change the rules of the game.
When I understand how the sorrow and trappings of my attachment, anger, greed, lust or any other negative traits cause not only to my own soul, but to those around me, it is then I may begin to care enough to make a difference.
Time plays a big part in our ability to change. But if someone advised us, informed us, lectured us on any self-management topic, still, at the end, we have to feel the need to change ourself before anything will happen.
There are many people emotionally sleep-walking their way through life. Not waking up to the truth of the web of emotional entanglement they have created. It’s when we realize that in fact we are sort of sleep-walking through our own life that we will actually awaken and then make the necessary life changes. Sometimes we might call this raising our consciousness, opening the third eye, or something dramatic may happen in our life and the experience gives us insights on the changes that we need to make in our own lives.
In order to understand, to realize, to change and to grow, there needs to be a willingness to learn, seek and explore. If we stay stuck in our old ways, our ‘horizon’ never expands, and we will never get to see a different view.
A good example is travel. As we travel the world, we see how different cultures function, all doing things differently. For example; in Canada pedestrians have the right of way whilst in India, forget it, everyone has to learn how to make their own way! So who is right and who is wrong? We go to China and we are able to understand why the Chinese use wooden sticks while the English use knives and forks. It would be wrong to sit in England and say wooden sticks are not the way, when 1 billion people use them! All are right, and in fact all live quite happily in the world. Each culture is different and has its own natural beauty. Just because it is different, it does not mean that it is wrong, it is simply different. Let us learn to appreciate the differences and harmonize with each other.
The point is as I observe the world around me, I can sense that mine is not the only way. I need to be able to understand the other, their traditions and ways of being. Try having an eye for discovery, with newness and not judgment. If I decide that something is ‘wrong’ then it always will be wrong – but in my eyes only! And then I will never even try to understand. Then recognition, realization and harmony will always be out of my reach.
Applying spiritual knowledge to our life enables us to see things from a holistic perspective. Actually there are no absolutes, there is no wrong or right, good or bad, there is only judgment, self-limiting beliefs and narrow perspectives. When we let go of these and allow the heart to be open and accepting, then we will say ‘Aha, now I understand!’ And then anything will become possible!
It’s Time… to embrace change by enjoying the ‘AHA’ moments of life!
© ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK