We often have the perception that self-growth will be simple, enjoyable, and rewarding. It certainly can be, but there is also another aspect of the self-growth journey that is rarely mentioned. And that is, when everything falls apart.
One of the major parts of self-growth is learning how to look inside yourself and get clear about certain things. Most often, this involves recognizing and dissolving inner blockages. These are usually deep-rooted beliefs that we formed in childhood, or at least the early part of our lives. Sounds good, right? It’s very good, actually, because these beliefs are usually what prevent us from living fully productive lives. These are the beliefs that keep us stuck in self-destructive patterns and have a negative effect on all aspects of our lives. So dissolving them is an excellent idea.
The problem is that these deep-rooted beliefs are part of the foundation upon which our current lives are built. When we dissolve inner blockages, there are suddenly gaping holes in our foundation, which cannot support what is resting above them. Inevitably, something will slip down into the hole, causing pain and turmoil and terror.
That’s what happened to me this week. My eyes were opened in a big way about a blockage I had been struggling with since early childhood. I finally felt totally clear on why it was there, and I understood exactly what I needed to do to dissolve it. So, I set about doing just that — and then everything fell apart. That’s the understatement of the century. Everything I thought I knew about my life suddenly became a lie, and I was shaken to my very core.
I spent a couple of days feeling shell-shocked. Then another couple of days grieving. Then the light dawned. Finally, I understood what was happening, and I could see clearly how everything is interconnected. It was no accident that everything fell apart just when I was finally making progress on my inner blockages. They fell apart BECAUSE I was making progress on my inner blockages.
As painful as it is, it’s a good thing, because my life circumstances were built on lies. The lies were the early beliefs I had formed about myself since childhood. Once I began changing those beliefs, my life circumstances began changing also. Change is good, but it can also be scary and painful as hell. It is necessary however, because in order to build something better, we need to tear down what already exists.
In my own experiences, I’ve noticed that there is a direct correlation between the size of the blockages we dissolve, and the magnitude of destruction it causes in our lives. If we dissolve a small blockage, something small will fall apart in relation. Maybe our car will break down, or we will develop a minor illness. When we dissolve a very LARGE blockage, something equally as large will begin to slide into the abyss. Our marriage might fall apart. Or we might lose our job. Or we might experience a more serious illness or accident. As frightening as this sounds, it’s a very important part of the process because it makes us sit up and take notice! Most often, the parts of our lives that begin to fall apart weren’t that great to begin with. They didn’t serve our higher purpose, even though we may have felt comfortable with them.
So, how do we deal with the pain and fear when everything falls apart? Our first reaction might be to run away to avoid feeling the pain. Another reaction might be to try and put everything back the way it was before it fell apart. But doing so only delays the process. Remember that the destruction is necessary in order to make room for the rebuilding of something better.
In order to complete the process, we need to stay with it. Yes, there will likely be pain and discomfort involved. There will be fear. There will be anger and grief. But there will also be an awakening deeper than any we have experienced before, and our eyes will be opened in powerful ways.
Here’s how to stay with the process through its completion:
1) Look closer. When everything falls apart, pay special attention to the exact circumstances that have begun deteriorating. This gives you a BIG clue about the biggest lies (limiting beliefs you have formed) about yourself, and your life. Look for the connection between the blockages you are dissolving, and the circumstances that are coming apart at the seams. For example, if you have begun exploring your true talents and abilities, and then you suddenly lose your job, a little introspection may help you to realize that your job didn’t allow you to USE those talents and abilities, so it needed to be removed to make way for a more fulfilling career. Sometimes the connections can be a little more vague and you may have to dig a little deeper. It may take some time to fully understand how everything is related, but if you keep at it, you will come to understand it and you can then use that knowledge to rebuild something better.
2) Grieve. Yes, you MUST allow yourself to grieve! Just because the old circumstances were built on “lies” doesn’t mean you won’t feel a sense of loss and sadness as they unravel. Allow yourself to go through that. Cry as much as you need to, and stay with the sadness for as long as necessary to move completely through it.
3) Follow through with the destruction. As much as you might want to try and “fix” everything immediately, don’t do it yet. Instead, take an active role in continuing the destruction of that which no longer serves you. Hell yes, it’s going to hurt. But at the same time, it will be so incredibly freeing and empowering. Maybe for the first time in your life, you will feel in control of your circumstances. You will be choosing to release self-limiting beliefs, and free yourself from self-destructive patterns. This “destruction” process can take many forms, but it usually involves releasing circumstances that no longer correspond with your newly emerging beliefs, such as unproductive relationships, unfulfilling jobs, etc. Be willing to let them go, and prepare yourself for the creation of something more meaningful.
4) Form new beliefs. Once you dissolve your old beliefs, you will need to form new beliefs to take their place. Usually this means replacing limiting beliefs with empowering ones. This is a process all its own, and it will take time to fully reinforce the new beliefs in your mind and heart. A helpful activity is to write out the old beliefs, and then write your new (and usually opposite) beliefs right next to them. Example: Old belief, “I am not worthy of love.” New belief, “I am worthy of love. I deserve to be loved.” Then simply keep reinforcing these new beliefs until they become a strong part of your foundation.
5) Begin rebuilding. This is the fun part! It can be a bit confusing, however. What do we build? And how? Especially if the destruction process was particularly painful and life altering, we may feel at a loss about where to begin again. And the answer is: let your heart lead you. Think about what you really want your life to be, and then begin taking the steps to create it. That might involve getting an exciting new job, or moving to a new location, or building new relationships. The important thing is to be sure that your old beliefs have been replaced by new, empowering ones. Otherwise you will simply re-create circumstances that don’t serve you, and you’ll eventually have to go through the destruction process all over again! Listen closely to the urgings of your heart, and use them to guide you along the path to a better life.
This isn’t an easy process by any means. But it is oh so fulfilling and exhilarating if we embrace it and allow it to happen without fighting against the pain and fear. Through our trials and challenges come new levels of growth, wisdom, and inner strength beyond our wildest dreams. We just need to stay with the process and watch for the rainbows after the storm.