Remember when you were a kid in elementary school or junior high and looking at the kids older than you? Remember discussing with your best buds that you knew how if felt to be in that grade even though you had NO experience what so ever? You could picture yourself there no questions asked and who cared when it would really happen and we were really in no great rush to get there either. But now, well, we are all grown up and for some reason, somewhere along the way, we have put pressure on ourselves to know everything right now!
I like to envision life as my school. I am always learning something, always growing, always changing. With this path of transformation that we all are on, I believe it does not look the same for any one of us. Each of us is unique. We have unique DNA, unique combinations of interests, hopes, desires, personalities and more. Like a snowflake, no two are alike yet we are all human and have our humanity in common. So we all walk this path and I think there are some principals that stay true for all of us, and maybe we can rest in knowing where we are in our process so that we can give ourselves permission to enjoy the process without the stress of having to know everything RIGHT NOW! If we are gentle with ourselves and accept that we are right where we need to be on our path we can be present to the moment and not miss anything. It’s okay to think about or anticipate the “what’s next” so we are ready for it but try not to “live” in it or spend too much time thinking about it. And when it comes to the people in our lives, remember they are on their own path and try not to interfere. Interacting out of a place of compassion and understanding will create harmony rather than discord.
So let’s look at this path and imagine there are stepping stones along the way. Each stone is a place on your journey of transformation.
What do I mean by “darkness”? In the dark it is hard to see, right. It’s the same with transformation. If we are in the dark we are living with fear. We are allowing others to have control over us. Placing blame, fearful thinking, worry, having a victim mentality and a overall lack of enthusiasm are all part of being in this darkened state of being. It is when we begin to realize this that we can forge on.
When we are ready to take the next step it is like a dawning occurs. There is light. We “wake up” and being to see the unhealthy patters in our lives. It is now that we start learning about our true, authentic selves. We wake up and ask questions. We look for answers and begin to learn that our experiences are not random.
Now we can start our change! We can move from the light and questioning to actually doing something and making changes that will fundamentally change how we live each day. It is not enough to just be aware. To truly transform, we must change behaviors and beliefs. We must change the voice or narrative in our heads. If we do the work of letting go of patterns and ideas that no longer serve us, seek guidance and help to gain tools for transformation we can make things happen!
So here we are finally at a point where we have cultivated new habits and live in a place of self acceptance. We are by no means perfect, don’t get me wrong. There will always be work to do and things to learn but we have come to a place where we have fully let go of our “dark” selves and have embraced a healthier, more authentic version of ourselves free of self judgement or that of others. We are happy with ourselves and have the tools to accept or change our lives.
Now we can move out of complete self focus to the world around us. This phase is about a bigger picture. Changing the lives of others! When we are happy it is easy to want to share the love we feel. Just remember that sharing does not mean forcing yourself, opinions or judgements on others. They are on their path too! Remember the compassion and understanding component here!
Finally, I believe this idea may not work for everyone in every situation, but it might help put perspective in our desire to find transformation. These phases are for life! Each one takes time and there are lots of opportunities for learning and growth within each one. I think a key is to be grateful, patient and aware wherever you are. I also believe we never fully finish our transformation. That at the end of our lives we are on the path ready for the unknown, but always on our personal quest for further self-discovery.