There is one great pitfall that we are all at risk of experiencing on our journey’s of self-transformation through life.
This pitfall is essentially our tendency to ignore the entirety of what it means to be a human being. In other words, it can be very easy for us to ignore the darker elements of who we are, and instead focus on emphasizing our lighter, more comfortable elements.
As I wrote about in my previous article regarding discovering your core wound, when we ignore many of the deep-seated and uncomfortable aspects about ourselves, we do ourselves a disservice.
While it is noble for us to want to search for the good within everything, and while it is virtuous for us to want to use “love” to solve all of humanity’s problems, we often fail to acknowledge that we must first overcome the series of erroneous beliefs, psychological traumas, and parts of ourselves that we’ve neglected before “love” and “light” can serve as our guiding forces.
6 WAYS YOU GET STRANDED ON YOUR PATH OF TRANSFORMATION
A very big obstacle on our journey’s of personal growth and self-understanding is our tendency to become enamored by the promise of “peace” and “love,” and in the process, shy away from experiencing the more difficult and darker elements of self-exploration.
It’s not that love and light don’t have their places in our journey’s—they most certainly do. But if these brighter, more appealing qualities are emphasized to a degree that involves the repression of darkness, and a resistance to the harder aspects of inner exploration, then we are creating an imbalance within ourselves.
Often the reason why we embark on a spiritual path in the first place is due to the fact that we have experienced immense struggles and pain in the past, and have observed the struggles of others around us hopelessly.
This tends to awaken a thirst within us to find fulfilling answers that solves why all of these things happen. However, ignoring these “heavier” elements of life in exchange for the “lighter” elements is not a wise approach.
The truth is that when we think about Self-Transformation, our “Higher Selves,” and the evolution of our Souls, we tend to think of these experiences as immediately transcending, or miraculously going beyond who we are right now, rather than reaching the fullest potential of our current states, integrating this, and then transforming into something new.
Let me illustrate what I mean by this:
Imagine the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. The caterpillar does not transform into a cocoon and go beyond being a caterpillar. The caterpillar is still a caterpillar inside the cocoon, and it is still a caterpillar once it evolves into a butterfly—only, apart from being a fully actualized caterpillar, it has now grown wings.
The nature of transformation is not to ignore aspects of our nature and fool ourselves into thinking that we have overcome these elements.
Transformation is a process of transcending what was before by integrating it (or combining all parts within us to make a whole) completely. In doing so, something new within us can blossom.
There are many mistakes that we make on our journey’s of self-transformation. I’ll share a few of them below:
1. TRYING TO LOSE YOUR EGO/SELF
Many people talk about going “beyond the ego,” losing it, and portray it as something evil. The reality is that our sense of self is essential for the development of our individuality and is not innately “bad.”
Our ego is necessary for our survival as it causes us to see that our physical selves are separate from others, and therefore we must care for ourselves.
By trying to lose our egos, or by thinking of them as solely “illusions,” we run the risk of developing a deep sense of futility with life, a pointlessness in doing anything or relating to anyone (e.g. “I don’t exist so what’s the point of doing anything?” or “Others don’t exist either, so why bother “forgiving” or cultivating deep relationships with them?”).
It is necessary to realize that transcending your “self” firstly implies developing a healthy and functional ego that operates in the world harmoniously.
To create a harmonious ego, we first need to develop inner wholeness by healing our core wounds and Shadow Selves, establishing strong self-esteem, forgiving others, and coming to terms with what has happened to us in the past.
Our ego’s will always be there, but the difference is that when they are healthy and when we are aware of their existence, we stop listening to them and blindly allowing them to influence our decisions or actions.
2. ALWAYS BE “POSITIVE”
Cultivating the habit of positively seeing the world makes a great difference to many people, especially if they are prone to habitually making negative judgments.
While developing the ability to see the “silver lining” of life can be very beneficial, the very nature of developing a positive attitude involves a constant judgement of the world, of what is “good” and what is “bad,” counter attacking anything that is perceived as negative with the belief that thinking positively will make it less bad.
This can sometimes be harmful as we don’t always succeed in our positive expectations, and consequently we can end up feeling devastated that we failed in changing the outcome.
When we stop judging the world as black and white, when we stop labeling things that happen to us as “good” and “bad,” we stop resisting life. We also become less stressed and there is no necessity for forcefully imposing a positive outlook on everything.