That’s my new slogan:
From Upheaval to Uplevel
as I’m settling into a new way of doing life…
I’m not sure where I got the idea that life was supposed to be a steady incline that got better and better over time, but boy was I misinformed. One of the problems with believing that (other than it simply isn’t true) is that when things didn’t go the way I thought they should, I continually beat myself up. I thought I must be doing something wrong, I’m not smart enough, wealthy enough, have the right connections etc. to prevent these painful things from happening to me. The most interesting repercussion from that faulty belief system is that, for years, I felt like I was living the wrong life. The track I was on somehow ran parallel to the life I was meant to live. I could sense it, I just couldn’t figure out how to get over there, and, honestly? I was terrified I would die without ever figuring it out.
Getting On the Right Track
I didn’t really know, (and I’m still not sure it’s the only way or the best way), that the upheaval was part of getting me on the right track. It’s been an 18-year journey—so far. Maybe I’m more stubborn or dense than serves me, but it seems to have taken me a lot of knocks to “get it.” I’ve moved more times than I can count on my fingers and my toes. I’ve been in two car-totaling accidents, one that left me with a concussion I still deal with. Two of my four children were estranged for a time. I lost two lifeline friends, and went through two divorces. That’s just the short list. No wonder I thought something was wrong with my life.
Looking back (hindsight is great isn’t it?) I think a lot of it is like cleaning a closet. Pulling everything out of the closet in order to sort it creates one heck of a cluttered mess. Throwing things away is sometimes the hardest part. My life was like that closet… a huge mess strewn about, only it wasn’t me throwing things away, they were (reluctantly and often painfully) ripped out of my hands. Maybe that’s the only way Spirit could get them away from me. I had to learn to be without things I thought were so important and grieve their loss—like it or not.
What if Nothing Was Wrong?
I’ve since learned that the path to a self-actualized life (the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs) is reached, in large part, by loss. Self-actualization is marked by simplicity—think a monk’s life. Self-actualizing simply means to come into one’s own, the Self with a capitol ‘S’, the highest and best version of self. I like to call it our Divine Spark. This connection naturally brings a change of focus from external things to an internal connection with the Divine, which in reality is our connection with our true nature. It’s scary because the Divine is ambiguous, ethereal, invisible. In the analogy of a trapeze, we leap from the known to grab onto-seemingly-nothing. And yet, it is the only way to reach our true path.
As this “sorting” phase of my life is ending I no longer feel I am living the wrong life. This has brought a true joy that I’ve been waiting for, for 60 some years. True joy on your true path is available to you, too. Is it time to uplevel to joy from your upheaval?