The Enlightening Mat: Losing Love When You Change

bridging change

One of those most significant obstacles to changing the patterns of your beliefs is the fear of losing love from the people you are closest to in your life. When you change your beliefs, you move in a new direction, and many times family and friends aren't prepared to transform the context of their lives according to your calling. The process of change may require you to go it alone for awhile until you find people who are in alignment with your new set of beliefs.

When I started doing Bikram yoga and meditation regularly, I wasn't aware that my new habits were changing my beliefs and this growth might affect my personal relationships. The practice of going to Bikram yoga regularly shifted my focus, changed my body chemistry, transformed my lifestyle, and altered my thoughts and feelings about the world. People in my life not experiencing the same thinking tended to drift away, but as I dealt with the loss of these relationships, I also started to see new people move towards me.

When you start down the road to changing your beliefs, behavior, addictions, or physical health by taking on a new endeavor such as Bikram yoga, you will alter your life and most likely experience a loss you may not have anticipated. It may be painful and frightening, but what helps me have the courage to deal with moments when I'm stranded in an emotional desert, in between the people I once knew and the people who are coming into my life, is the knowledge that the reason for the loss is not personal.

It's a matter of a new reality clashing with an old reality. Even though it may feel like you are losing love, what you are actually experiencing is the acknowledgment that you are choosing not to fulfill the needs of certain people because you want to focus your attention on some of your own unmet desires.

For instance, maybe you're getting older, exercising a lot, and lately you don't feel like going out to drink beer at the bar with your friends on Friday nights. Instead you want to stay home and hang out with your kids. In this context, you no longer connect with the way your friends fulfill their needs for relationship and fun and instead are focusing on nourishing your need for bonding with family.

Here's a quote that helps me see that there is a rational explanation for experiencing the loss of love as you change and grow. I hope it gives you the courage to move through the changes in your life and reassures you that love is always coming towards you in new ways.

People with like ideas reinforce each others beliefs.  You may meet with some misunderstanding when you suddenly decide to change your reality by changing your beliefs -- according to the circumstances, you may be going in a completely different direction than the group to which you belong.

In the group, you may suddenly cease to provide for the others a need that you satisfied earlier. This affects both intimate behavior and, say social interactions. For a time then you may experience a feeling of loss as you move from one group of beliefs to another. However, others, sharing your new beliefs, will gravitate toward you and you to them.

- Jane Roberts, The Nature of Personal Reality

The Enlightening Mat is a blog series exploring moments of awareness that come to Beth Hemmila while practicing Bikram Yoga.

To shop for yoga charms that celebrate the different poses click here to view this blog post Sterling Silver Charms for Bikram Yoga Postures.  


  1. Thank you for this. I have had to actually had to push people away to protect my new life. It's hard, it hurts, it's lonely and it's scary. But in the long run, it is the right thing to do.
    As they say, if you spend too much time looking at the door that just closed, you won't see the ones that have opened.

    1. You are so welcome Michelle! Thank you for sharing this other aspect of changing -- learning how to set boundaries when people don't seem to be supporting your change. I also love this saying that you wrote down, and it's officially going into my box of personal mantras :)


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