The Fear of Leaving Behind Loved Ones When Embarking on the Spiritual Journey

Often, at the beginning of our spiritual journeys, right when those big tugs come from God that we're having trouble ignoring, a very basic fear comes up: What will happen to my relationships if I follow this call to explore my spirituality?

Some of us have the call to go off into solitude for some time. Others, the call to travel. Or study. Or go into nature. Or leave our current lifestyle behind.

But whatever it is, the concern that our relationships may never again be the same is a very common fear that arises when we begin to consider venturing deep within ourselves, somewhere we have not yet gone before.

Let's shed some light on this: The fear that we will leave our friends, family, and loved ones behind is triggered by our fear of DEATH, which is the real fear beneath it. We're not afraid that we're going to lose our friends, we're afraid that we're going to change so much that we won't recognize our lives or ourselves, that our old selves may die. We're not afraid of anyone ELSE going anywhere, we're afraid of confronting our own temporal nature, our own eventual deaths, and the mini-deaths (rebirths and transformations) that we will experience through the journey of turning inward, turning to God.

Going deep within into truth - both our microcosmic truth and the macrocosmic truth of God - does not sever relationships built on love. Quite the opposite: the love will only blaze stronger. Yes, relationships will change as we come to know ourselves more truly, but only for the better. Yes, we may have to face some pain in relationships that we had hitherto been able to ignore, but again: only for the better. Yes, we may discover it no longer feels right to continue on with certain people, we may discover that circle connections are simply complete: and again and again and again, all for the better for all.

We're not afraid that we'll lose our friends and close ones if we dive into the unknown; we're afraid we'll lose life as we know it, we're afraid of the change, we're afraid of death. And if we can stare at that reflection in the mirror, looking at it fiercely for what it is, then perhaps we can uncover the courage to continue on our way, whatever way that is, on and on and on.

It's always between you and God. And then, the rest can flourish.