“If it pricks you then it is for you” is one of my favorite quotes. Every teacher I’ve had has said this quote to me during some part of my journey. I find I use the same quote when I am serving as teacher or mentor to another person. I personally use this quote as one of my guiding life principles. Life, at least in my view, is a series of lessons and that are meant to help us achieve our greatest selves. Like all other things we can actively choose to not learn lessons; however, the decision to not learn does not stop the opportunities for growth from coming. The “pricks” that happen in our life are often indicators of lessons. When things rub us the wrong way we are being promoted to look closer and do something different.
What’s does a “prick” actually look like. Well because we are all different we will experience “pricks” differently. Sometimes pricks are the small annoyance brought on by a person’s statement. Other times (especially when we have ignored the small whispers) a prick can be the loss of a job or the end of a relationship. Pricks can also look like situations that repeat themselves like dating the same type of person over and over. Or finding your self in the same situation time and time again is also a sign of pricking. When something rubs us the wrong way for an extended amount of time it is worth digging deeper into the situation because most of the time it is for us. Sometimes we are being encouraged to change our thought process or how we approach situations. Or we are being asked to evaluate the people we invite into out lives.
I tend to be pricked or promoted to make changes via interpersonal relationships. Most recently, I became aware that I was maintaining a role that no longer served me. It is not uncommon for me to attract people who are in need of something. Often these individuals are looking to have someone serve as a friend to them, but they are limited in how much they have to offer to the relationship. At the time, I did not understand why I consistently continued to engage in these types of relationships. No matter where I turned I found a person in need of comfort, support, or some kind of guidance. I am inherently a giver. When in balance I enjoy assisting others in developing insight and conducting acts of service. However, I was over using my gift for helping others to mask my insecurities. Eventually, I grew tired of being the giver. Once I became aware this type of role no longer serviced me I became annoyed with any person who needed something from me. My lesson was not to stop giving but to learn to be vulnerable. By giving some much I was depleting my energy and not being recharged. Giving, rather over-giving, meant I did not have to ask for help. I did not have to be in need of anything or anyone. I had built my life on achieving, fixing problems, knowing the answers and being everything to everyone. I had created a system that support me being guarding and invulnerable. However, I was entering a season in life where being vulnerable, wanting, and needing was a necessity.
Relationships that required me to give in an unbalanced way created a wall between others and myself. I knew on some level I could not expect people who were takers to offer more and in turn this meant I could not ask for help. I used my role as a giver to serve my need to be independent and not have trust or rely on others. This way of maintaining relationships served me well until it did not serve me at all. When it was time for me to spread my wings and grow I could not because I had surrounded myself with people who were not in a place in their own lives to be able to offer support. I was literally drowning in people who were living for drama and chaos and who were not heeding their own prompts to make changes.
In order to be ready for what life had to offer me I had to give up all that no longer served my greatest good. I had to be willing to be a seeker, a novice, and allow my self to want. Of course while the pricking was happening I was not at all clear about what was happening or why it was taking place. Instead, I was annoyed by anyone who needed anything from me. I resented people who appeared weak or helpless. I was often impatient with everyone and wanted to avoid all people at all cost. I almost withdrew from a program of study I was extremely excited to be accepted into just to avoid asking for help. I started to feel overwhelmed by situations I once found challenging and excited. I was starting to fray. My process was not a result of slight pricking. In hindsight, I can see how I ignored all of the slight whispers that were promoting me to make changes. When I had a very raw moment there was no one there to hold space for me while I shed my shame because I had created a circle filled with people who were not at a place to allow me to step off the pedestal I had created. So, I had to cut weight and end relationships with those who were not open to maintaining relationships founded on mutual giving and taking.
Subtle pricks can look like moments when we experience strong annoyance that is disproportionate to the situation that prompted the emotion. When something in our lives rubs us the wrong way when, in the past, we might not have been bothered is another sign of pricking. Whether it is a whisper or a yell pricks provide amazing opportunities to do our personal work in ways we could have never imaged. Most people tend to pay attention to the yells, but how liberating would it be if we practiced listening for the hints that are offered? What if when we are slightly nudged we go within and find the lesson that will draw us closer to our greatest selves?
What are the signs you have been pricked?
When is the last time you were encouraged to make changes?
What are the barriers you face when making personal changes?