Prior to picking up where I left off, I would like to begin with a quote from a great friend Tom Sawyer (see post on Tom Sawyer – Revisited, 4/22/14). “All souls are equal at the soul level. Yet some say, He’s a highly evolved soul. The soul doesn’t evolve, the personality does.” At our very core is our soul, spirit, higher self, or however this may be referenced. It is that speck of perfection that we all are at our very core. We do not need to evolve this since it is already perfection.
Personal growth and self-discovery is our journey to re-discover this perfection. I believe this represents a key element to the meaning of our life here on Earth. Our search at first is largely outside of ourselves, distracted by “earthly” ways such as materialism, judgement, greed, pain, and fear. These become part of our layers, blinding us from who we really are. Ultimately the true discovery is finding the answer deep within, that we are indeed perfection. But first we must work through the many layers of the human self, our personality, perceptions and beliefs, until we get a glimpse of our higher self. When this is experienced, we forever change. More on this in future posts.
Picking up from Part 1…
So we have come to gain greater awareness to why we are struggling, unhappy, and experiencing negative consequences. We are challenged now with a choice. Do we want to take RESPONSIBILITY for our life going forward or NOT? Like it or not we are at a fork in the road where we have to make a choice. NOT MAKING A CHOICE IS A CHOICE! My book, my workshops, my work is all about helping people with this choice by providing them with a greater understanding of what it is like and the tools they can use. However, I can understand why people may make the choice to stop. In my own story, in Part 1, I share how I made this choice to stop or ignore the advice to delve within a couple of times before the pain became too much.
Consider all of the factors one has to consider as they approach this choice.
Top of the list is fear. We are creatures of comfort even when the “comfort” is an unhealthy situation. We can prefer this over the fear of the unknown. What will I discover? What will happen to me? Will others dislike me? Will I be all alone?
Men in particular learn that we must solve our own problems. We must not admit that we have a weakness. We must appear strong. Who wants to admit that they have a problem? This is in itself a leap in our own self-awareness. In the 12-step programs, this is the first step to recovery, the admission that we have a problem. Are we ready to acknowledge this?
- What to do
We may be willing to acknowledge that we have a problem but be unaware of what to do, where to seek help. These are big steps to take, particularly when you are not familiar with what tools are available. This is why I included Part 2 of my book to help those ready for this path to learn about the many tools that are available, and the pro’s and con’s of each.
- Friends & Family
Others can often become obstacles for our own personal growth, particularly family members. Families in many cases have spent a lot of time concealing what happened. Bringing these past situations to the surface impacts all family members. Those who are vested in years of denial want others to do the same. Engaging in personal growth means that you are going to detach yourself from others while you take some time to focus on self.
Although pain can be a motivator, it can also be a de-motivator. We may be in so much pain that we are paralyzed. Depression can set in and cast the dark grey clouds around us, making it near impossible to see any form of hope. This combined with the feeling of being alone, can be the most challenging of all. Many of us know this pain, and come so close to becoming totally hopeless.
As I recall this most difficult time, I am reminded of the many “guardian angels” that appeared in my life, whether it was someone simply smiling and saying hello, or those that recognized my situation and were willing to put away judgement for sake of helping me on my way. Some times this assistance can take the form of tough love, helping us to confront our reality in a way that comfort and support can not. The question is whether we are willing to heed this support in whatever form it may come. Even if it is a glimmer of hope that reminds us that we can get through this, we make the most powerful choice in our life, to live on, and eventually to grow. We choose life!
This step is in memory of my brother who came to this fork in the road and was unable to overcome his pride and pain. He took his own life. It was a powerful reminder to me of how precious life is and and how powerful pain can be. I feel his kindred spirit often, reminding me to continue my work and helping to get the word out about making this choice. Planting seeds so that others may consider growth over pain and fear.
Part 3 will delve into understanding our beliefs and values. Often these are unhealthy beliefs resulting in behaviors leading to negative consequences. We come to identify these unhealthy beliefs and use the tools of self-discovery to heal and develop healthier beliefs that are more consistent with greater levels of happiness and who we want to be.
To be continued…