Sometimes we go through times when we feel like we are dying. What is dying is an old way of life that doesn’t work anymore (ideas about ourselves, other people, our beliefs about what is right and wrong and so on).
I am told that Jungian therapists have a saying to the effect that people come looking for a solution to a problem and leave when they find transformation. That is: we want a way to keep our old way of life to keep going. Which is quite sensible: Who needs extra stress in our lives – and change is stressful (even change for the better). From the point of view of this Jungian saying, the therapy is about going through the process of knowing that the old doesn’t work any more and finding a new way.
It also means that from this perspective finding a solution is a failure not a success (many a study on the success of psychotherapy is quite beside the point from this point of view).
This process isn’t confined to psychotherapy. Any significant change means some kind of change in ourselves. Would we really not want to be changed by the birth of our child?
The new is (at least partly) unpredictable. A new friendship is a friendship but may have unpredictable elements. Perhaps we anticipate the hard work of our new child but are stunned by the depth of feelings they evoke.
When we let go an attachment to our old way of life, this can be scary. We can’t know (exactly, in the old terms) what the new will be like. There is often a blank while the old is dying and the new emerges. This can be extremely difficult. To not go back to the old way is VERY difficult – it can take a memory of great suffering to provide sufficient motivation to stay with the blank.
If we can stay with the blank, the new will arise. Perhaps as slowly as the growth of a delicate shoot from the seed, perhaps with the overwhelming force of a hurricane.
This Easter I think that one of the meanings of the resurrection is that the new is somewhat different to the old. It was Jesus who rose from the dead, but a new and different Jesus. I think Easter means a new and more fulfilling way to live – and the way to it lies through allowing the old to die and waiting for the new to come. I have never found this easy; I have always found it worthwhile.
Would you like to feel less stressed?
Could you do with more joy in your life?
The answer is living authentically. Buy the book or sign up for the course now from my Living Authentically website.