©2008 Joan M. Newcomb
I've noticed when my students make life transformations as a result of taking my classes, there's a predictable ripple effect amongst their friends and family. Especially their spouse.
Couples after being together a while and families have their own set energy level and when one member rises out of it, even if it's a welcome change, there's a certain amount of resistance that comes from their loved ones.
When you start shining, it's like bringing a brighter wattage bulb into the room: it illuminates where others haven't dusted. It shows patterns that are no longer beneficial (if they ever were in the first place). Either the other loved ones have to change themselves, or they have to change us.
The spouse may worry that their newly transformed mate may leave them behind with the rapid acceleration forward. That doesn't have to be the case - enduring marriages are like motorcycle road trips. Sometimes you're journeying side by side, sometimes in tandem. If you're both in agreement about going forward (albeit at different paces) things work out in the long run.
Families can be more difficult or easier, depending on if the entire group is mired in old patterns or if different members are at varying rates of growth themselves. Sometimes you can meet each one individually, and sometimes you need to step back from family gatherings (that weren't that much fun in the first place).
There's a quote made famous by Nelson Mandela which was actually taken from Marianne Williamson's "A Return To Love" (reprinted below)that makes the statement, 'We are all meant to shine'.
Healthy marriages and healthy families encourage their loved ones to shine. They rejoice in each individuals transformations. They're supportive of the process of change. And for less-than healthy situations, all it takes is for one person to radiate their true Self, and it can give permission for those around them to shine as well.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our
deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens
us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you
not to be? Your playing small does not serve the
world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine. It is not just in some of
us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light
shine, we unconsciously give other people permission
to do the same. As we are liberated from our own
fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
~Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on
the Principles of "A Course in Miracles," 1992