“My involvement with Shanti has changed my life. I have a clearer idea of what I want from my relationships. Giving and getting support is not just limited to my Shanti relationships. I can open up to new people and new situations much faster and easier. I don’t have to know someone forever to make a close and satisfying connection. I am able to give to my friends in a more concrete way.
Before volunteering for Shanti, my own fear of AIDS would sometimes be paralyzing. I still wonder if I’m coming down with AIDS whenever I get a cold or see a mole that I don’t remember seeing. However, I’m now able to experience the fear and move on with my life without becoming obsessed and depressed. Somehow becoming more familiar with what I am afraid of has made me deal with it without becoming overwhelmed.
I am more accepting of myself and others. Now when I feel some of what I used to call my “negative emotions,” I don’t judge myself as harshly as I used to do. I realized that I cannot love another unconditionally if I cannot love myself the same way.”
From an Eclipse: The Shanti project Newsletter