“Every step forward means tearing oneself lose from the maternal womb of unconsciousness in which the mass of men dwells.” – Carl Jung, The Spiritual Problem of Modern Man
On the journey of life, many of the blessings that steer you towards the right path, and keep you on that path, often appear at first as personal crises. A challenge to your well-being is precisely what it takes to catalyze lasting and meaningful personal transformation, and you must awaken and overcome, facing the worst of yourself in order to discover the better version of yourself in waiting.
When I experienced this personally many years ago, the crises in my life stacked up and became utterly impossible to ignore or cover up. Life slowed down to a suffocating pace while I grasped for direction and meaning. Happiness was a daydream. My fantastic corporate job, my good marriage, my friends, and all of my possessions were meaningless, and at every turn the world looked dark and unforgiving. Life sucked… to be more succinct.
I’ve come to recognize that this was my ‘dark night of the soul,’ as many others have called similar trials and tribulations. It was an almost unbearable turning point when I had to gather all the facts of my existence and overcome my learned helplessness and dependence, completely re-creating myself in order to survive. Much as a caterpillar leaves behind the comfort of the cocoon in order to set wings, I had to make the discovery that many of things that were comfortable had become limitations to my progress, and therefore had to be tossed overboard.
It’s not always easy to recognize when a great change is underway. Even the greatest of earthquakes is the cumulative result of many tiny shifts in the earth, and so too our lives can evolve in rapid, sweeping upheavals that almost go unnoticed. When you rise to the occasion and take an honest look within, the universe conspires to come to your aid, and anything becomes possible.
Here are 5 signs, or clues, that you may be outgrowing yourself and that a more concentrated effort on your personal evolution is in order. The reward is well worth at least double any effort you put toward cultivating balance and positive energy in your life, and the world so desperately needs more awakened, self-actualized people who cannot be bent to conformity.
1. You Are Not Happy
Are you happy? It seems that almost no one is these days, but, happiness is the birthright of all human beings and the prize of those who muster the courage for honest self-discovery. We are trained to view happiness in material terms, with an image of ‘success’ as the payoff for a lifetime of devotion to the consumer/corporate cultural paradigm.
In the end, however, this paradigm only offers lifestyle tweaks, not genuine inner peace. If inner peace is unfamiliar to you, then the actions in your life are not supportive of your inner drive to discover meaningful, organic happiness of your own creation. The self that you’ve manufactured for yourself is no longer serving well your true self, and a re-construction of you is required.
2. You’ve Become Self-Destructive
Personal annihilation is now popularized in mainstream culture and the prevailing remedies for crises of the spirit are medication and self-medication. This comes in every possible form, from pharmacist to fetishist, and it is easier and more socially acceptable to suffocate and drown out any inner conflicts than it is to honor the drive for self-actualization.
You already know if you are being self-destructive or not, but knowing this is not the same as knowing how to be self-constructive, which is what your soul is demanding of you. It wants you to re-connect and re-build, from the ground up if necessary, but, your habits and your environment want to grind your inner ambitions into dust because the don’t want to lose you. You must choose.
Rock bottom is called that for a reason, and it is painfully familiar to many of the world’s happiest people. If you are sinking lower and lower into the abyss of self-destruction, it may be a sign that you’re trying to leave the womb of unconsciousness that has so many of us trapped. You can wait till you achieve rock bottom, or you can you can turn it off now in recognition of the new direction your soul has in mind for you.
You’re life is at stake, but you are free at any moment to let go of your self-destructiveness and be kind to yourself.
3. Your Relationships are Changing, and Not Necessarily for the Better
When we first meet a person we establish a subconscious relationship with them that will furthermore determine our role in each other’s lives. When you meet a teacher, you understand immediately your position as their student, and behave accordingly. When you meet a lover for the first time, you know instinctively what this person’s role is to be in your life.
‘Role locks,’ as they are called, are broken when you outgrow yourself and change beyond the expectations of others, and the people in your life will notice this in a nearly imperceptible, energetic way, if not outright. You might see that relationships with friends are unusually uncomfortable, you might feel like you are outgrowing an old mentor, or you might find yourself acting dangerously over-confident around your boss. Change typically makes people uncomfortable, and if your relationships seem to be strained or uneasy, it is a clue that some shifts within you are being felt by those in your life.
Subtle communication does not lie.
4. What Use to Amuse No Longer Satisfies
Entertainment is a distraction from reality, an escape, and your familiar escapes no longer satiate. More attention is needed for yourself, and the cultural ritual of always being entertained is now useless to your personal progress. It becomes obvious that many people intentionally distract themselves from life, and you feel like you’re missing out on something important when doing many of the things you’ve always done before.
It no longer matters who has the most toys, and the silly things that people do for kicks look like child’s play in comparison to the challenge of properly attending to your personal growth. In this process, the truest things in your life will emerge from the clutter of your life and be seen for what and who they really are. Good friends will endure, but that and those who cannot support and empower your progress will fade into the background.
5. You Begin to See and Understand How Fabricated Consensus Reality Is
Your perception of the world is deepening and the reality machine is no longer capable of fooling you. Pop culture is so obviously more contrived and spiritually debilitating than ever. The so-called ‘news‘ is recognized as the theatre of the absurd that it is. Conformity is easy to spot, especially in those who are trying hardest not to conform. The lies of the government and the war machine are easily decoded, and the opinion leaders and sell-outs who dominate the media are quickly recognized as charlatans who only work to manufacture consent for the oligarchy.
Many ‘normal’ aspects of modern life are revealed to you as elaborate traps designed to drain you. Just grand illusions that occupy your attention and energy, almost comical in their overtures at you. None of this impresses any longer, but the ridiculousness of it all serves a high purpose, to drive you inward towards the discovery of the real presence of spirit in your life. This is a clue that it is time to grow in an inward direction.
Our culture celebrates death and destruction over evolution and adaptation, and so it is our revolutionary task to overcome this and evolve beyond the low expectations of a culture in decline.
In the end, your life is yours and no one else’s. It is entirely up to you to achieve peace and happiness during your short tenure on this pearly blue gem of a planet. I know that many people are finding this world to be an unbearable place these days, but your perspective can and will change if you muster the courage and attention necessary to take part in your own transformation.
Read more articles from Dylan Charles.
About the Authors
Dylan Charles is a student and teacher of Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi and Qi Gong, a practitioner of Yoga and Taoist esoteric arts, and an activist and idealist passionately engaged in the struggle for a more sustainable and just world for future generations. He is the editor of WakingTimes.com, the proprietor of OffgridOutpost.com, a grateful father and a man who seeks to enlighten others with the power of inspiring information and action. His remarkable journey of self-transformation is a testament to the power of the will and the persistence of the human spirit. He may be contacted at [email protected].
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