First message on this community I hope the topic resonates with some of you.
I regularly find myself in a state of confusion with regards to my personal development. Like riding a huge pendulum. One day I’m at my best, full of wisdom, strength, accepting and humouring of the unknown and the other, a pale shadow of myself, drowning in the sheer vastness of things I don’t know, starting with myself.
The more I dig, the more I realise the infinite layers there seems to be about my personality. I’m confused about my masks, and the masks underneath. I despair to find my uniqueness, strengths, and thus make the choices that will enable me to flourish.
Then I’m confused about if all of this actually makes sense, and if I shouldn’t just let go, live the present moment, and drop this quest about the me. Just let energy make its thing.
And here I am, tortured by that paradox again that I can’t quite hold
What am I looking for? Perspectives, tips, reframing, similar experiences. Is my experience typical? maybe of a developmental stage.
The type of questions I find myself having on a regular basis:
- How to reconcile a quest for self and a quest for non-self?
- How can I explain this feeling of inadequacy with regards to mainstream expected beliefs and behaviours?
- How can I truly confront what my ego dissimulates from me and which I struggle to approach mentally? (like key preservation functions. For instance, I struggle to identify my enneagram type)
- How do I preserve stability when I’m challenging the very foundations of my being and reality? In particular, how to find a path back to being a productive citizen when the pendulum is erratically swinging back and forth between versions of me, needs, values…
Thanks for reading me. I hope this is not too drama-oriented for this forum and hope to read from you guys!
Thanks Sidra for your answer It’s helpful just to read understanding in your lines! I will solidify my meditation practice and honor this path that I’m on, with it’s ups and downs. The journey indeed makes no sense if not appreciated as such
Dear Alex: I found the following quote from Rilke very helpful to me in similar circumstances. Wishing you all good things. “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” His Book Letters To a Young Poet you may also find has much wisdom that may be helpful on your journey.
― Rainer Maria Rilke
Thanks Robert for your insight, it’s much appreciated!
Your honesty and genuineness ring true through your humble words. I simplify things down to what I call The Spiritual Quest, meaning it’s about the journey not the destination. Sometimes we can get stuck in our knowing.
Our knowing and beliefs are like buckets we use to contain our logic water (our coherent mask for the day). Every mask layer after another mask layer is only ego. Eventually, if we’re open enough, we can sense there is an ocean of water and discover the folly of limiting ourselves to a container of any size.
I find it helpful not to judge anything as “the truth” but to be open and to explore it all and enjoy every bit of the discovery along the way, especially embracing the negatives as the fastest path of progress.
Thanks for your insights and feedback on my words, it’s much appreciated I do realise those are phases, and I’ll try and embrace negatives more as well as spot the boxing contest (sounds better than buckets in that case haha) I’m having with myself.
It sounds like you are going through a vertical growth and an awakening process - moving diagonally in the Wilber-Combs matrix.
You are describing the pains of a growth spurt. They are part of the process. Everybody goes through that in some way or other, asking similar questions, suffering through similar confusions, getting high on wisdom one day and feeling overwhelmed or despondent the other; perhaps at times feeling lonely and god-forsaken. New sense making, new insights - nothing has stabilised yet. What served you before has exhausted itself and is insufficient but what will serve you ahead has not yet been fully processed and assimilated. It´s like climbing stairs in a very slow motion: one foot is still firmly on one step, the other is still up in the air - feels wobbly. Eventually both feet will be on the next step and it will all make sense again.
There are a lot of things happening simultaneously to you - little wonder that confusion sets in. What helps is to familiarise yourself with the phases of the process either through reading (Ken has left a tremendous amount of detailed material on that) or talking with those who are walking ahead of you, we are all walking in the same grooves and enjoying the same scenery. What you are describing is very familiar.
So keep going. And do ´drop this quest about the me´. The quest is not about ´me´ or ´my´ , it is about something a bit bigger. You are already sensing that ´me´ is a shoe that is getting too tight, you are growing out of it, and you may want to take it off at some point.
Also, in the previous reply John Webber puts it beautifully : it´s about the process not the destination. We are so conditioned to focus on the result ( a cause of suffering) that we overlook the process itself (´me´ is torturing itself about its imperfections and wants to get bigger /better/ more important/ desirable … the list is endless because it is not happy with the current result and wants an improved version of itself). Learn to embrace the process and to enjoy it - that’s the real flavour. If you are elated now, savour it, experience it in all detail, look at it from all angles mental, emotional, physical, physiological, sense it where it arises in your body, point it out, mentally film it, know it . There you have it: that’s what elation feels like. Next? Fear/ amazement/ anger/ gratitude - whatever it is, ride it, explore it, take a good look at it, file it (it will help you relate better with others) - have fun in a 6-D movie theatre of life.
Since I’ve read your response, I seem to have unlock a new phase of stability. I feel like my second foot is starting to settle. Thanks for giving me that mirror so I can have a good reflection on what is happening to me.
I’m very grateful for your analysis, it seems spot on and I’m reassured there is both an analytical understanding of this, and I can reach out in case I’m lost on that journey.
I’d be delighted to chat about that with you at some point in the future, if that makes sense for you too
Thanks for showing the way up in the journey and reminding me to enjoy the ride!