It happens, as Dante Alighieri says in his “Divine Comedy, “nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita”, which translates to, “in the middle of the journey of our life, we realise that what we are doing does not belong to us.”
At this point, we often experience a crisis, and we feel sad and empty. Actually, what we should do is celebrate! We have reached an awareness that the role we are playing is not making us happy!
This raises an interesting question: How is it that many of us live lives that don’t belong to us? The answer: We have often chosen them because we are strongly influenced by society, cultural elements and parents, or so we believe. The truth is that we were not yet ready for anything else.
Up to this point, we were just following social and cultural rules – parents’ desires, our ego’s desires. We have been raised thinking that we have to go to college, university, find a job, seek a loan, buy a house, get married and have children…but, not following our heart’s desires will at some point generate a crisis that could manifest in various ways negatively impacting physical, mental and emotional health.
What causes the realisation, the “ah ha moment” could be a fight with our boss, our spouse, our business partner, a health issue that causes us to stop. It is when we are there with ourself, unable to move but able to think about our life; we ask, “what am I doing?” The realisation could also be brought about by a book, an article or an inspirational video.
We realise that despite having achieved a lot in life, it is no longer enough. Most of the time, this starts with a sense of impatience, a feeling that something is missing. This is the existential crisis. Sometimes we try for years to fill this missing part with excessive shopping, serial adventures, unbridled fun, adrenaline, career goals, earnings or ever-increasing power. Or we get overwhelmed by depression and addictions.
In these cases, we need to stop and listen to ourselves. Seek our true essence – our spirit, soul, the higher consciousness, the higher intelligence – usually named based on our religious or spiritual credo – God, Allah, Buddha, Creative Power, the Universe.
True essence allows us to breathe, our hearts to pump, to regulate homeostasis, to digest our food, to heal wounds without being aware of it. We can find it if we turn off our rational mind if we allow space inside to really feel our emotions if we listen to our heart if we connect with ourselves if we stop complaining and take responsibility of our actions if we stop thinking that the outside environment controls our inside. We don’t smile because we are happy, we smile first and then realise we are happy.
To help you understand your true essence, ask yourself: Who was your hero as a child? What is it that you love to do? These answers will connect with you with your inner spirit. You will understand who you are and what you are here for, and you then can start working on your skills, talents, ability, knowledge to achieve your goal.
So, the first step is to work on ourselves. Focus on the changes that must be made. Life must be lived with courage and humility, looking difficulties in the eye. With each step and every understanding – small or big – there is immense satisfaction and joy on the acknowledgement of growth and progression towards a new step.
Be willing to abandon old beliefs and open up to new thoughts with humility. An understanding of the right things, the things that really resonate with your soul, the things that make your heart sing, the opportunity to start over with a new momentum, a new life or a new job, or a new relationship will present itself to you. By now, you will have learned to grasp the signs and have faith. The better one becomes at grasping the signals that life gives, the lighter and faster the path becomes.
Don’t forget to ask for help. In times of great change, we all need support. Even if we know how to manage it alone, an external eye helps us a lot and speeds up the journey.
What if I don’t want to change anything?
Everyone is free to do as he or she feels, and this decision not to move must also be respected. We only want to motivate you on why it is so important to do so.
If you don’t listen to your soul and your heart, they will speak to you through the body. That lump in the throat becomes something worse; those panic attacks degenerate, that stomachache becomes chronic. There are no medicines that will restore you to health. At best, you will treat some symptoms but not the cause. Finding a way out is, therefore vital.
If you take action, however, you will be adhering to your life plan, and your life will take on extraordinary colours, which now you cannot even imagine!
In short, if we are willing to look in the mirror and face all the ugliness, the false beliefs we have inside, we will then be rewarded with heaven…AND IT’S NEVER TOO LATE! NO MATTER HOW OLD YOU ARE! Have faith, keep the compass needle, and you will succeed. Better still, if we’re supported on the journey as Dante was by Virgil.
Disclaimer: The preceding is intended to offer practical approaches and assistance for daily living in an effort to help where possible, those of us who need and seek it. We speak to the individual, and hope the nuggets offered are found transferable to family, business, community and country. The information is not intended as professional advice and not a replacement for obtaining same.