Monday, April 30, 2012

Four Phases of Personal Growth


© Michael Brill

As a result of our cosmic abandonment issues (www.awakener.com Articles) we generally reside at either end of the behavior spectrum. At one end of the spectrum is maintaining control – doing for others but not allowing others to do for you. At the opposite end of the spectrum is co-dependency – doing to be loved; both are reactive behavior patterns.

As you ponder your reactive behavior patterns or those of others, try to keep in mind that we are all going through various phases of personal growth. I visualize human beings moving through four growth phases. Those four phases are:

• Phase 1—We Do Unto Others (Ego). We live a life with no consequences for our actions. We murder, lie, cheat, steal, plunder, pillage, rape, burn, torture, and indulge our wildest fantasies.

• Phase 2—Others Do Unto Us (Ego). Whether we were aware of it or not, we had reciprocal agreements with those we victimized in Phase 1. 

In Phase 2, those IOU’s are paid back. We are murdered, lied to, cheated on, stolen from, plundered, pillaged, raped, burned, tortured, or the recipient of indulged fantasies. At this point we can become angry, indignant, and seek revenge. We have three options: return to Phase 1, remain in Phase 2 as a “victim,” or go to Phase 3. If we want to pay back what was done to us, we will return to Phase 1, to again become trapped in a karmic cycle of “doing to and being done to.”

Phase 3—Acceptance of What Is/Was/Will Be. Phase 3 is about potential; a potential for reunification of the ego and the soul and evolving to Phase 4; or the potential to revert to Phase 1 and to ‘do unto others”. If we accept that we chose the role of victim in Phase 2 to balance out our role as perpetrator in Phase 1, we can break out of the karmic cycle of reactive behaviors and shatter the illusion of cosmic abandonment. We begin to have a sense that there is more to existence than what we are able to perceive with our physical senses. We begin an inner journey of self-discovery, leading us to examine our lives, our decisions, and the consequences of those decisions. We want to know who we are and why are we here. We are ready to go to Phase 4.

• Phase 4—Integrating Our Ego and Our Soul. In this phase we reintegrate our ego and soul.

Until we reach Phase 4 the ego can sabotage the soul’s attempts to remember it chose to be here, rather than being sent here. The ego’s abandonment issues are evident every time we do something out of fear, whether it’s due to codependent actions or actions that give the illusion of being in control. More often than not, the soul tries to ignore the ego and its fear-based decisions. It feels its divineness and wants to reconnect with Source. It believes that the ego holds it back and therefore tries to ignore ego-based feelings and emotions. This attitude drives a wedge between the ego and the soul. The ego, feeling abandoned and ignored by the soul, sabotages the soul’s desire for reconnection with creation.

I can best explain this with a picture. We’ve all seen the cartoon where a dog is enticed to chase another animal and just as it is about to catch it he reaches the end of his leash and is suddenly jerked backward. The same situation applies to us. We may commit ourselves to the spiritual path and pursue it with determination and single-minded focus. Everything seems to fall into place when, all of a sudden, we are jerked backward. Stunned at the sudden change, we question Spirit. We are confused, even angry; haven’t we been doing everything required of us? Yes we have. But, in the process, we have neglected an important aspect of our self—the ego. It was the ego that jerked on the chain to remind the soul that this is a partnership and that the ego will no longer be ignored.

How do we get the soul and ego to work together? Try this exercise:
Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed by others or by the sounds of electrical devices. Sit down and close your eyes. Slowly inhale through your nose for a count of five. Hold this breath for a count of five and then slowly exhale through your lips for a count of five. Repeat this three times. When you feel relaxed, visualize being inside your  body.

As a third party (your essence), acknowledge the presence of the ego and then recognize the presence of the soul. Mentally project them out of your head into a space where they can sit across from each other. Speaking to both at the same time, invite them to join you in a dialog about their relationship. Ask the ego to explain its reasons for sabotaging the soul whenever it tries to soar, or ask if it feels the soul gives it enough respect. Ask the ego about its abandonment issues, and if there is anything else it wants to discuss. Thank the ego for expressing its feelings. Then ask the soul why it doesn’t give the ego more respect. Ask the soul what could be more important than working in partnership with its physical aspect that helps ground it to the planet. Thank the soul. Thank them both for agreeing to form a conscious partnership.

Now direct them to speak with each other and reach a solution that will allow them to work as a team. While they are doing this, continue to observe as a third party. Once they reach a solution, thank them for their hard work and ask them to state what they have agreed upon. Thank them again and then invite both back into your mental space where the three of you meld into a single entity. This new self will have the courage to make decisions that will enable it to evolve to its highest potential.

Being aware of these four developmental phases and using the above exercise can enable us to make fewer reactive life choices and more conscious choices.

One final thought,

William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), "Hamlet", Act 1 scene 3

Lovin’ what I’m doin’ and where I’m at . . . .

Michael is the author of Numerology for Healing and Decoding Behavior Patterns with Numerology both by Inner Traditions/Bear & CO. He has also written a textbook Know Your Numbers, Know Your Self: Discovering the Solutions to Your Life’s Challenges that describes his system of Cosmic Numerology. Michael is available for consultations and presentations; he can be reached via email at Michael@awakener.com or on his cell phone 561.866.5479.


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