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We as human beings have been used to suffering for so long in a myriad different forms. The idea that we can be truly happy can seem like a pipe dream to many of us at different times in life, and yet I have come to realize it is inevitable that we will achieve it; the real challenge is getting through the various stages along the way.
As a counselor and coach, I feel it is important to remind myself and those around me that we are meant to be happy in the same way that a caterpillar is meant to become a butterfly. It is the cocoon stages that can be the most painful because we feel the most limited and removed from what we know to be our destiny. It is like the dark night of the soul where everything is dark and murky and it is hard to contemplate a better life.
Something important many people are realizing now is that we all have a calling for our life's purpose that can often go unnoticed or neglected a lot of the time. When we start tuning in, we become aware of what we have been longing for, whatever that may be for each individual.
For example, many of us are working jobs we flat-out do not like to be "just OK." What I often suggest to clients is that we take one or more concrete steps every day towards creating the life we truly desire amidst whatever situation we currently find ourselves at the moment.
If I am working at an office but find myself daydreaming about being an artist, do I spend a good amount of time honing my craft and looking for ways to monetize this passion?
People are often caught between the cycle of grinding out the days at work and then zoning out at home to cope with the stress and monotony of a daily life that is less than optimal.
I often recommend spending some time every day meditating and reflecting on what life's highest calling is for me at any given time in life. The conditioning and social programming we receive is often at odds with our own innate guidance and our telos, a philosophical concept pointing to the idea that we all have an ultimate goal or aim in our lives.
The key thing I have come up against in my own life as well as working with clients is that it can take a lot of work to unravel the layers of programming that have been inculcated from our immediate families and the greater society.
A good example would be if I have the desire to create my own business as an entrepreneur but have consistently been told by my parents the value of a good, steady career with benefits, a pension, and generally a predictable and stable vocation.
What often happens is the previous generations simply recommend whatever they have done in their lives to their children. Even if we are able to consciously realize that our parents' ideas are not for us, there can be a lot of unconscious resistance to truly following our heart's path.
This article is a gentle suggestion that our sovereignty as individuals is not something to be glossed over and put on the back burner. We owe it to ourselves and society as a whole to break away from the social paradigms and follow our telos to the best of our ability. When we go through the stages of awakening and actualizing our potential, we also become inspirational examples to others to do the same.