I went to an excellent seminar called “Selling Your Soul” yesterday, and Marie Forleo said something fantastically in line with where I am right now:
“Every new level of growth comes with a meltdown…Growth is messy. You have to burn everything and build for the next level of growth.”
How true. It has always been true for me—each time that my Being is called to grow to a new level of Being-ness—each time that I feel the need to take on even greater responsibility for myself—each time my vibrational field shifts up a notch, requiring me to play at a higher level of this grand game we call life, I have some kind of breakdown.
Oh, it manifests itself in lots of different ways. Sometimes more internally, and sometimes spectacularly externally as well—but the breakdowns are always there, and always in measure with the size of the impending growth on the other side of the precipice.
We have been told all of this by so many of our myths and spiritual teachers:
The metaphor of the Phoenix, who must die in his own ashes in order to rise to even greater heights, tells this tale beautifully.
Joseph Campbell tells us that before the hero can complete his journey, he must go through “the belly of the whale”—a trial where we face our darkest hour.
The spiritual teacher Gurdjieff used to say that we need to create a “shock” in order to fill the long void in the final interval when we move up an octave, or we will fail.
I know all of these things in my head, and have been through them several times in life, but still, every time I come to this place, I am overwhelmed by the level of discomfort and internal turmoil I experience.
Letting go of layers of ego that you won’t need for the next part of the journey is never easy.
Those bits of ego are SO familiar and secure—even if you know they are bricks in the wall of your soul’s prison. As much as most of us crave freedom, we also fear the responsibility of being truly free. So often, our fears overtake us, and we flock to a secure cage rather than face the fierce winds of unknown opportunity.
This is “the lurker at the threshold.” The gatekeeper who only allows the truly courageous through the portal of truth. This lurker is no one but our weaker selves, the older version of ourselves that craves comfort over freedom.
During the darkest times, I have to remember the other times I have been in this place.
It really does happen “at every new level of growth.”
I have to remember that no matter how bleak it may have seemed at the time, no matter how painful that period was, if I kept moving forward, kept moving closer to whatever truth was being revealed to me at the time, I always made it through the darkness to a better place.
And that, in fact, the only way around, is through. Turning back is not really an option, because you’ll always know your failure. Deep down, you’ll know. And stopping in the dark places is like deciding to spend the Summer in Hell.
The only way around is through.
So, onward, warriors. Overcome the lurker of fear and comfort that stands between you and the next version of you. As the song says, “Let go. Because there’s beauty in the breakdown.”
And there’s even more beauty once you get through it.