As we carry on with living our lives we may notice a desire to advance and improve our lives and circumstances but this is contradicted by the compelling desire to cling to an idealized notion of the past. This see-saw mental activity is often halted by an outer crisis or an internal mental upheaval. After seeing the world from different perspectives, an updated sense of equilibrium eventually settles in.
Just as we settle into some semblance of a peaceful existence where peace and security feel certain, the crisis strikes, seemingly out of nowhere. Upheavals can take various forms. Perhaps a divorce or romantic break-up shakes a person to the core. A loved one becomes seriously ill or dies. A natural disaster like a forest fire or a tornado destroys every possession someone owns. A job loss or other serious financial setback could be culprits. Any serious mental or physical difficulty that causes a “wake-up call” could be an upheaval.
Most of us have had upheavals of one sort or another. Many of us have endured several of them. After the stunning first blow, we have an epiphany or a thunderbolt of clarity and realization. The upheaval forces us to see the illusions and magical thinking we have been cultivating within ourselves. That make-believe world collapses before our eyes.
The parts of our lives that were built on shaky foundations–assumptions, illusions, fantasies, mistruths, and empty promises–are revealed as the husks they always were. Beliefs, opinions, and emotional attachments have been turned upside down so their dark underbellies are revealed. This is more than upsetting, especially when original, core beliefs are confronted. The upheaval calls out to us to reevaluate our understandings and concepts of reality. Perhaps a revolutionary change of belief systems is imminent.
In many instances, people experience a psychological or paradigm shift. Perhaps a spiritual event such as awakening or enlightenment. As they explore the limits of the new mental frontier, they discard older concepts as dead weight. They then discover new points of view. These unsettling times are catalysts for creating change and transitions towards a larger self-conceptualization and expanded understanding of the world and the Universe.
During the crisis and afterwards, one must be aware of internal resistance to change and development. The desire to remain within the comfort zone of an old belief system might enable denial of the need for substantial change. Naturally, the stronger the resistance, the equally strong are the forces to impose change that manifest. Denial will not cause the crisis to magically disappear. The problem may well reform into a potentially more harsh upheaval in the future.
If a person is mindful of the ebb and flow of life’s circumstances, one may sense a foreshadowing or foreboding of a coming upheaval. If we are tuned in to pick up the minor earth tremors, we can better prepare ourselves for the eruption of a major event. In this way we can minimize the damage of the upheaval and better reap important lessons presented by the crisis.
Under fortunate circumstances with insightful observational skills, we can cultivate the groundwork for massive change. We can then more easily break free of the obsolete thinking and habits that are holding us back. With forbearance and some luck, we grow more resilient and hopefully more wise in the end.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes English actor, comedian, producer, and screenwriter, Simon Pegg. “We suddenly saw how people reacted in the event of massive social upheaval, and the way that the little problems in your life don’t go away. You don’t stop being frightened of spiders just because the world’s blown up.”
Beautiful insight. This is most certainly true and common to all humans.
Much food for thought and reflection here.