We are all caterpillars at different times during our lives, waiting to emerge from a dark cocoon. So when you can’t see the light, or even the road right in front of you, try following these guidelines for getting through with greater ease and equanimity.
1) Allow yourself to grieve your losses. As uncomfortable as it is, grief is a natural part of moving through and past loss. It takes as long as it takes. Be sure to avail yourself of help and support when you need it.
2) Believe in the Principle of Change. When the darkness closes in, some of us have a tendency to become overwhelmed, and to believe that the darkness is now our reality, forever. But nothing ever remains the same in this world. Light yields to dark, and darkness fades again to light. It is only a matter of time. Like the caterpillar, your old Operating System has fallen apart, and is in the process of coming together in a new and potentially better way. Your core Self is transforming.
3) Learn how to accept, encourage, and love yourself unconditionally. This means supporting yourself with compassion and positive regard -no matter how needy you feel, how awful you think you look, or what a mess you think you have made of your life. Learn – or get help learning – how to recognize and release guilt, regrets and shame. Turning these negative patterns around and practicing unconditional love for yourself (and others) is crucial to true transformation. With self love, you can experience peace in the present moment and begin to build a better future. Loving yourself also means accepting love and support from close friends and family. Reject thoughts that you don’t deserve help or are a burden, then reach out.
4) Develop a spiritual practice in which you learn to connect with a Spiritual Source of unconditional love. Doing this can be the beginning of receiving insight and wisdom, particularly concerning the meaning around what happened to you. I always hesitate to assert that an event happened so that you would learn such and such a lesson. This is something we cannot really know for sure on this plane. But what we can do is create meaning and purpose. Through meditative practices, we can access a supremely comforting sense of being loved, safe, and at peace. And it is in those moments – or shortly thereafter – that new perceptions and wisdom have a chance to come through.
5) Ask what you can learn from this experience. Asking this question prior to your spiritual practice, or prior to going to sleep at night, is another way to begin to access and develop a sense of meaning and purpose. Maybe you are developing strengths you didn’t know you had. Maybe you are learning to trust yourself more. Or maybe you are simply learning to have faith that things will work out. These may not be the lessons you would consciously prefer to learn, but they are certainly among the most important lessons life has to offer. The ability to handle setbacks and failures, and the confidence that you have that ability, is the foundation of all successful undertakings.
6) Balance your times of reaching out and receiving support, with times of solitude. Transformation, while a necessary part of growing, can also be exhausting. Your insides are literally creating a new foundation for you. If you are continually “out there” and exposing yourself to stimulation from others, that new foundation won’t have a chance to form and solidify.
7) Count your Blessings. And no, my name is not Polyanna! Focusing on what you have to be grateful for brings you out of your worries about the future and preoccupation with past regrets. It brings you into the present, and therefore into an experience of peace and power.
8) Develop a sense of humor. Humor can be found anytime, anywhere – no matter how severe the circumstances. Humor can lend us perspective, a moment of connection with another, as well as some moments of lightness during intense times. (See Becoming a Humor Being by Steve Rizzo.)
9) Get professional help and support. At some point in your process, you may want to avail yourself of one or more kinds of professional help. It could be something as simple as a nurturing massage. Perhaps an individual counselor – someone who has the skills to just listen and validate your experiences are just what you may need for a time. If you are feeling stuck in some way, then I would heartily recommend some form of energy healing. In my practice, for example, I use hundreds of flower and vibrational essences to help my clients shift their energy around all kinds of transition-related issues. Anything from clearing depression and lack of will, to eliminating anxiety and fear, to releasing shame , experiencing forgiveness, and clearing of old trauma can be accomplished with the right essences at the right time..
10) Live in the present, one step at a time, one moment at a time. This is especially true if you are in a sudden crisis, or dealing with a tragic loss. Statements like, “I don’t know how I’m going to get through this” are not helpful. The truth is, you may not know how – but if you follow these Guidelines, you will get through. And you will not just get through it – you