Stepping out on to a shamanic or any spiritual path is a beautiful thing: a gradual process of unfolding where we begin to learn who we really are, what we’re capable of, and our soul’s true purpose. And of course, it changes us.
Any change in life can cause ripples into the outer world, but there’s something about change on a spiritual level that can cause major shifts and upheavals in our personal life which can leave us confused, sometimes pained, and full of questions.
It is, from our experience, and the experience of many of our friends on this path, a fundamental truth that, when we begin a shamanic life, the Universe will intervene and remove anything and anyone from our path that does not resonate with us, or is toxic to our well being.
Our dear teacher, Anthar, warned us about this. He spoke of the arrows that are fired from unexpected sources; that the people closest to us can resent the changes taking place within us, as they slowly come to understand we are not the people we once were. He also taught us that people can suddenly turn on us, and try to ruin or stop us from doing the work we are called to do. They may not even fully understand why they are doing it.
This has happened to us, seemingly out of the blue. We have lost people we considered good friends, for no apparent reason. It just happened and it was acrimonious and hurtful, and totally unexpected. The people involved just stopped resonating with us, and in truth, we with them. Our lives very suddenly began moving in different directions. It seemed to be an unstoppable progression. The same can happen even within families, leaving the awakening person lost, hurt and confused and possibly even completely rejected by those closest to them.
It’s very sad when any relationship ends, but as healers we must promote healthy relationships, both with our own selves and the people around us. Sometimes that means making very hard decisions, and having to deal with the consequences. People may end up hurt and their behaviour may escalate accordingly.
It would be easy to send arrows of our own back towards them, as a knee-jerk reaction; to get ‘one up’ on each other and engage in an endless tit for tat argument in the public domain. Anger doesn’t help. It doesn’t solve the problem, and in fact, hurts no-one but the person experiencing it. So what is the solution?
Inspired by Anthar’s teaching, we acknowledge where these arrows are coming from and gently return them, in the same orientation they were sent; so the soft flight feathers reach them first, and not the sharpened tip. This is done with love and gratitude.
For us, we are grateful for this conflict. It is teaching us how to become better people. It is teaching us different ways of reacting whilst the wounded souls express their anger by attempting to hurt our business and reputation in public, and hurt our feelings in private. It can be tempting to also send these people healing, however, they have neither asked for this, nor given their permission to receive healing, even though it would seem the obvious thing to do. We know that reconciliation is not wanted or needed from either side. We’re no longer their kind of people; perhaps we never were, and that’s absolutely fine. We wish them nothing but happiness and success in their lives.
We are learning that we have strength and compassion, and that it’s possible to stay happy and healthy even when in the midst of conflict. This is a vital teaching. We are also learning to have absolute faith in our guides and teachers from the Spiritual realms. Their methods may be apparently merciless at times, but the outcome is always for the greater good of all involved.
The beauty in all of this, has been the response from our friends; those that know who we really are. They have come out and supported us each time conflict has arisen, and softened the impact of the arrows that come in the form of negative comments. That’s something to remember if you find yourself caught up in a situation like this - for every person that turns on you there will be many more who will help and uplift you. Such is the nature of this path and the people we encounter.
The conflict may continue, it may not. Will it have a negative impact? Unlikely. We have learned that we have a choice in how to respond. Each time the toxic behaviour arises, it simply reminds us that we made the right choice in stepping away from the friendship, and that brings a sense of gratitude and peace.
Healing and awakening is a difficult process. It requires us to shed many skins; parts of ourselves that are no longer relevant to our current experience, including people. It may well be painful at the time, but the Spirits know what is best for us, and something wonderful always comes along to replace what was lost.