Crisis or Crossroad: Getting Out Of Suffering & Becoming Who You Are Meant To Be
For many people, crisis is the the first step on the path of personal growth. Pain and suffering are the best motivators to commit to our spiritual practices. Distressing events are some of the greatest motivators for change.
Crisis, it turns out, is actually a crossroads. It is the crossroads of who we were and who we want to be.
This crossroads is an opportunity to show up and be present, to awaken to who we know ourselves to be, to stop clinging to what we thought we wanted, what we thought was meant to happen.
It’s not about rising above, raising the vibration or getting anywhere other than where we are right now. It’s about not abandoning ourselves and learning to hold our most tender parts in deep honor and acknowledgment of the intensity of what we feel.
Cataclysmic events demand that we grow, and often shift us in the most radical ways. They make us wake up to our true potential and our most terrifying emotions.
Daily experiences offer this possibility, too, though they do it incrementally.
Resistance to this intensity keeps us stuck and perpetuates suffering.
Acceptance & Discomfort
The first step in reclaiming presence, and getting out of crisis is to stop resisting.
In the physical body, resistance becomes clenching and tension that only aggravates the circumstance.
It’s normal to resist things that challenge or scare us. Instead of accepting the whole spectrum of human emotions and experiences, we long for those that please us, and avoid those that hurt.
In yoga philosophy, this is called dvesha. It’s one of the things that keeps us separate from ourselves.
Accepting that some things hurt means leaning into the discomfort. Leaning in means acceptance and surrender to what is happening; it creates ease and grace. Resistance creates suffering.
The Body’s Wisdom
Many people are so used to suffering, the pain familiar. Agitation and pain we know how to deal with. Peaceful and still —well that just feels vulnerable and helpless.
The body is telling you the same little parallel story, dvesha as disharmony. The tension in the physical body may show up as exhaustion or migraines, acid reflux or insomnia. Disharmony, too, means you’re at a crossroads.
It’s a time to realign to what is harmonious, to make choices that move us closer to who we know ourselves to be or farther away. Actions and thoughts that create harmony are dharmic, and help us fulfill who we are meant to be.
Creating Out Of Gratitude
At the crossroads where you now sit, ask yourself, “If I had to stay stuck like this for the rest of my life, what skills, traits or characteristics would I have to cultivate in myself?”
This crossroads is an opportunity to cultivate the traits in yourself that have been longing to come forward. Slow down long enough to listen. Trust your gut and be with the intensity of it all.
Now that you know what you need to create, look for it in the people, places and things around you. When you see something that feels harmonious, whisper “Thank you. Thank you for showing me what it looks like and that it’s possible.”
Thank you is what we say after we receive something. Saying thank you builds a new pathway to creating something positive instead of being a victim to suffering.
Instead of pain and suffering, slow down, accept the intensity of the moment —never abandon yourself.
Listen to your body and the quiet voice of your heart. Ask yourself what desires to come forth, acknowledge when you see it so you can cultivate the trait with gratitude and live the life you’ve dreamed for yourself.
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