During the last few weeks I have been noticing a dramatic change in the people around me. Some of my close friends and family members suddenly started exhibiting the most undesirable qualities that one can portray. Most of these people were either screaming, shouting, using offensive language, trying to tell me how wrongly I was behaving and how I was at fault for whatever situation we were facing. I could not understand what was happening to the people around me. Why had I suddenly become the bad guy in every person’s story?
If this wasn’t enough, I was also becoming sensitive to some television programs. I have never watched a lot of television in my life but whenever I do, I am unable to stand violence, blood, ghosts and zombies. Offensive language in the television programs and movies has become extremely unbearable. In fact offensive language from anyone has been troubling me these days. Even simple things said by friends have started sounding all wrong to me. When they say things like, “I have done so much for this project and I think I Deserve to be rewarded for it” or when they ask casual questions like “So what else is giving you Pleasure in life?”, I feel nauseated.
With all this happening around me, I really started thinking if I was the one to be blamed for what was going on with people around me? Why had I become so sensitive to everything? Why did simple things that people said and asked sound so wrong to me? I kept pondering over this for many hours but I couldn’t get any answers. Finally, when no answer came from within, I was ready to accept the blame and conclude that maybe it really was me who was triggering these unpalatable situations. Maybe I was doing something wrong. Maybe I was making people scream and shout for reasons I am still unaware of.
I felt sad about what I had discovered and thought to myself, “Why was all this happening to me? In spite of following a sincere spiritual life and meditating regularly for so many years, why is everyone upset with me?” Something did not feel right. I was unable to connect the dots and so I asked myself loudly, “Is it really me? What have I done to change my loved ones?”
And then finally, the answer came! Something inside me said, “Yes. It is you! You are the one who is to be blamed here. The people around you haven’t changed. They are the same. You have changed. Do you not realize that you used to be one of them; doing exactly the same things that they do? Do you not remember your days of loud arguments, impatience, and anger? Do you not remember the days when you ate meat and consumed alcohol? Do you not remember looking in the mirror and admiring yourself for hours?”
I was surprised at the answer that came from within me. While all these facts were true, they are a distant past and I do not remember or embrace these habits anymore. Anger has left me ages ago. I have given up on meat and alcohol; not forcefully but very naturally and happily. I stopped looking at my face in the mirror and admiring my own reflection because many times what stared back at me was a sad reality of my inner self. Through meditation, I had been able to see my soul engulfed in layers of ego and I couldn’t wait anymore to get rid of those layers. So none of these things mattered anymore. I finally realized that with every single meditation sitting, I was becoming lighter. And the lighter I became, heavier the people around me became.
I was able to feel the solidity and grossness that other people carried within themselves. The inappropriate language that people used in their day to day life had begun shocking me. People’s unreasonable expectations, hopes, wishes, deeds, and words were simply being flung into the universe without a minute’s pause. I had started worrying about Nature and how we are affecting it by our actions only because we can. I had become spiritually sensitive to everything around me.
I questioned myself if this was a good development or a bad one. I decided it was neither. It was just a phase in my spiritual evolution. My spiritual Master has often said that when we change from inside, the outside world also changes. I had only heard this sentence being quoted often but I never had a chance to experience it. I used to believe that when I become loving, kind, and caring deep inside, my outside world will also start reflecting the same changes. While this is true, I have realized that this change will not happen overnight. First I have to be the change myself, set an example by being and doing, give others a chance to observe and absorb the change that I have become, and then wait patiently for them to change.
I still have a long way to go. And while I am on my beautiful spiritual journey, I am going to wait patiently for my loved ones till they are ready to embark on their own journey. Being disappointed, annoyed or shocked at their actions or words is not even an option. I was one of them years ago; maybe worse. It only means they can change too and I know in my heart that they will.
Now that I know what is going on around me and within me, I do not feel disturbed anymore when people do what they do. I smile and I remind myself that I am waiting for them and I will wait as long as I am needed to wait. When Nature has waited so patiently for me for so many years; probably for lifetimes, how can I not wait?