Where are you at?
There are milestones in our lives that require us to change:
- our childhood expectations (of love and safety), aren’t fulfilled by wider society
- our early adult ambitions for social status and achievement can become less meaningful to us in our later adult life
- our self-importance needs to weaken to be able to put the interests of others before our own
- we develop a yearning for a fulfilment that we not can a find through achievement, success, and social status
- we realise our relative significance in the face of our mortality, and seek out transcendent experiences and acts of heroism.
We must each navigate major life changes, required as they are by the natural course of life. We encounter various conflicts and dilemmas along the way, because we are not yet the personality we must become in the next stage, and because part of who we are must die for another part of ourselves to be born. In each battle and crisis, we have the opportunity to grow in wisdom and greater maturity, but if we resist the opportunity to develop ourselves, we will suffer needlessly and miss the opportunity of a wiser and richer life.
It helps to understand what stage we are in our lives and ask:
- are we unhelpfully stuck in any emotion or identity?
- is something in ourselves, our relationships, or our behaviour that needs to change?
- is an emerging value we need to align ourselves with?
Self-awareness, particularly in the heat of our struggles can strengthen our capacity to change. We can learn to lean into our development, even if it feels difficult at times.
We don’t always need to know what we will become next, to be able to let go. We just need to be aware of what it is within us that we need to grow out of.