(pic courtesy www.livingnow.com.au)
I have a pet peeve, and here it is: I feel bad for people when they say things like “it just doesn’t feel right” or “I’m being guided to walk away” or “if it was meant to be, then it wouldn’t be this hard” or “it just isn’t flowing”… and then they use that as a rationale to give up, walk away, abandon someone (or something) that really has value in their lives without asking themselves any deeper questions about why.
They’ll usually label this act as “letting go.” They’ll speak as if challenging circumstances are an indicator from the universe that the thing they’re pursuing is “not for me” when maybe what’s really going on is that they’re afraid, or doubting themselves, or something has triggered an old wound that they’d rather not look at.
Sometimes the person I feel bad for in this regard, is me.
Face the Truth
It can be hard to face the things within myself that I’d rather not see!
My own shadow.
Sometimes I feel ashamed to admit that I’m not fully in control of myself, and I’m not always aware of what’s really driving me. But ultimately, that’s always where the growth is. Because sometimes my challenges are not actually messages from above, but rather messages from below.
When we don’t want to face what’s holding us back, our minds can even trick us into thinking that the avoidance impulse (which is really based in fear) is actually a spiritual message from above.
Mistakenly thinking that all of our impulses are higher intuitive guidance… well, that’s a spiritual ego trap right there. Beware of that trap.
So how do we know which impulses to follow?
Often we don’t. Not with absolute certainty. Some humility is called for. It’s useful to stop expecting our higher self to be able to communicate with us with absolute clarity, like a bell, every time. Sometimes there are no trumpets either!
When I work with people around creating more abundance in their lives, the work is always foremost about dissolving blockages. When they’ve dissolved enough blockages, then they might start to hear the true calling of their hearts.
It starts out as a whisper, and as more and more blockages are dissolved it gets louder. But at first the blockages act like a sound barrier, or a smoke screen, that obscures or distorts the message of their true higher calling.
Go Easy On Yourself, But Not Too Easy!
Here’s a truth worth acknowledging: unless you’re already an enlightened being, then not all of your impulses are going to come from your higher self intuitive guidance system. Some of your feeling based impulses are going to be coming from your lower level blockages: your fears, limiting beliefs, old wounds, emotional baggage triggers and karmic patterns.
As Socrates famously said in 399 BC: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
At the risk of contradicting one of the greatest philosophers of all time… perhaps it’s not as dramatic as all that! But it is true that if we’re not fully satisfied and happy in our life, then it’s hard to make progress towards something better unless we’re willing to do a bit of self-enquiry.
I believe that the universe is designed to help us work through our emotional blockages as quickly as possible, mainly by orchestrating the exact situations that will dig up the things that are holding us back so we can face them.
When we really face our blockages with honesty and humility, thank them for the service they’ve performed for us (because our blockages were initially designed to protect even if they’re no longer appropriate, and they’ve definitely taught us something) then the blockage has permission to dissolve.
If we choose not to face our selves in that moment, well, that’s okay. The universe will patiently keep knocking on that door over and over again with new situations that give us the same opportunity to face our shadow (the unacknowledged and disowned parts of ourselves)… until we’re ready to finally answer the door and really look ourselves in the eye.
Without judgment. Without shame. With compassion, and with love.
One of my favourite quotes is this one from Carl Jung, the grand-daddy of psychoanalysis: “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
Humility is the key, in my experience. We have to be willing to ask, in every challenging situation: “Am I being pulled from above or below? Please show me what I can’t see, please teach me what I don’t already know.”
It’s so important to look within and truly, humbly ask when something is not in ‘flow’: “Why is that? Is it because it’s not in alignment with my higher calling, my heart’s true desire, my purpose? Or is the situation just challenging for me because I’m bumping up against some of my own unresolved blocks?”
These are worthy questions. And if we truly want to make rapid progress in creating more abundance, better relationships, deeper love, more empathy, more compassion, and happiness in life… then they are essential questions.
This article first appeared in Living Now magazine, check it out here.
To Your Abundance
Julie Ann Cairns