Today let us have a closer look at personal crisis.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines crisis as „a time of great disagreement, confusion, or suffering.“
In this light, a personal crisis can be seen as a disagreement of different parts of yourself, confused thinking together with feelings of despair, fear and insecurity.
Since human beings are constantly developing in an ever-changing environment conflict and crisis are inevitable.
However, this does not have to be a bad thing, since a crisis is not only darkness but also light. The Chinese symbol for „Crisis“ consists of the Symbols for „danger“ & „opportunity“.
The dangers of crisis can be:
- Getting increasingly lost in your personal thinking
- Giving this a lot of meaning and beating yourself up about feeling low, lost, disorientated, etc.
- Obscuring your happiness and contentment with painful feelings
- Getting into a downward spiral
- Making important decisions based on low-vibrating thoughts and feelings
- Protecting your low vibrations on to others and making them and situations on the outside responsible for how you feel on the inside.
- Putting yourself into a victim position
On the other hand, these are some possible opportunities:
- Learning something fundamental about yourself and life through going through another door of insight. This will support you later in your life.
- Utilizing the conflict for letting go & forgiving yourself and others.
- Awakening to a deeper knowing about „what life is, what god is and how the two are connected.“ (Sydney Banks)
Those are very different perspectives on crisis. Again we see that the way we interpret an event in the outside and the internal world has a tremendous influence on what we experience. We can either see a crisis as something that is happening against us or for us.
Also, it is important to understand that our life journeys are not linear. Unexpected things can happen and life can pass us a curveball. Depending on how we choose to see this, this can be frustrating because we sometimes even seem to move backward. But an internal crisis also means that we moved so much forward that things can come up that we haven’t come to peace with and that we now can face and integrate. That’s a completely different perspective than beating yourself up in that you forgot what you knew or fall back to a lower level of consciousness.
In the end, every felt crisis is an invitation to let got something that we do not need any longer.
Personal crisis – what do the tell us?
That we perceive something as a crisis in the first place is proof for that:
- some blocked energy in ourselves got activated and we project it to something external. Eckhardt Tolle is talking about the Pain Body, the Yogis about Samskaras, C.G. Jung about the Shadow – Metaphors for energies that we have not come to peace with yet.
- we don’t fully see the inside-out nature of life and believe that our happiness is at stake because of something outside of us.
In those moments we can either engage more with these loud thoughts and old pain, repress it, or even act it out – and through this give it more energy. Or we can relax as much as possible, stay present to the best of our abilities and let go of the energy.
As pointed out with the Chinese-Symbol-Metaphor everything that happens in our lives that looks like adversity can cause 2 things:
1) We get more in our heads and amplify our fearful thinking. This enforces the Outside-In view.
2) An opportunity for deeper insight into the life and to fall open to wisdom.
Most of us are conditioned to move faster when we start to get lost. But this is not helpful. It is as if you would get stuck in the mud with your car and put your foot more and more on the accelerator – and through this sink deeper and deeper into the mud.
What would be actually helpful in a situation like this? How about slowing it down, getting out of the car, taking a step back and creating space for your deeper wisdom to kick in?
I know that slowing down during a crisis can be counterintuitive. When we get uptight we rely on our intellect and try to force an answer.
But nobody has ever made good decisions based on low vibrating feelings. Since wisdom always comes with a positive feeling your first job is to become present and through this find back home to a lighthearted state of being. Again, this is nothing that you can actively do – the more you try it, the less you will get it.
It is also completely normal that you might feel some resistance. The bigger the Samskara that is about the release itself, the more intensely your inner critic will shout at you and create more resistance to slow down, disengage and release.
This is a process that will repeat itself for your whole life. It is part of our system taking care of itself. Fear and stress remind us of the limitations of intellect and ego and invite us to let wisdom guide us to find a balance for us in life.
The goal is not to never feel crisis again – it is about going through any experience more gracefully. Spoken in another metaphor: It is not to never feel the rollercoaster of life again – but to witness that the rollercoaster-rides move from „Over 18“ to „Under 6“.
In his book „Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender“ David R. Hawkins paraphrases C.G Jung, who claimed that we all have an inborn thrive towards wholeness. Our unconscious knows what we need to learn and leads us towards life situations through which we can move toward wholeness – even when those experiences can be traumatic for consciousness mind.
In this light, we can only win. Even the darkest valley is actually a path toward light. The more we can let this sink in, the more we can see that our suffering holds deep meaning. According to Victor Frankel, the author of the Book „Men’s Search For Meaning“ finding meaning in suffering facilitates healing.
Reflect on your life:
- Which moments of personal crisis did you experience?
- What were they about?
- What did you learn from them?
- What did help you to go through them gracefully?
- What made the experience worse?
- How easy is it for you to relax – even when your whole system screams at you?