We’re halfway through “dark week of the soul” here in The Process, and I’m glad you’re still with me. Many of us don’t want to hear the truth—to have our reality shaken and house of cards collapse. For so many, including myself at low times, the allure of the illusions of comfort and security are a cruel temptress back into slumber.
When things get dark and tough, that’s when the voices of giving up get the loudest. These dark times come in all flavors, and vary at different stages of development:
- There are times when everything goes to hell…
- There are times when you are rejected and ridiculed…
- There will be times when the majority of people don’t understand you or your vision…
- There will be times people let you down, or when you let those you love down…
- There will be struggles with finances, relationships, health, and focus…
- There will be failure after failure after failure…
- There will be loss and pain…
- There will be things that you simply aren’t good at…
- There will be temptations and no-win decisions you must make…
The voices of “caring” friends and family, critics, teachers, parents, society, and our own ego. The ones you thought you squashed from doing EFT, NLP, or coaching, like:
- “See, I told you that you couldn’t do it!”
- “See, nobody cares!”
- “Wow, you really do suck!”
- “Looks like you suck so bad you can’t even fail correctly!”
- “I knew it! Who did you think you were trying to fool?”
- “Who do you think you are?”
- “See, nobody likes you!”
- “What makes you think YOU’RE so special?”
- “You really thought you could do it, didn’t you? Haha!”
- “Told you so!”
Some of these can be dealt with and eliminated. Some of these are deep traumas that can be healed. Some of this can just stop. And I highly recommend working on them therapeutically.
But some of them may stay with us our entire lives. Some of us will never get to the bottom of lifetimes of limitations, fears, and traumas. It’s not practical to think all our doubts and critics will ever go away. So we must move forward anyway, despite the lying voices.
Moving through the “dark nights of the soul” are how we learn some of the biggest lessons. It’s how we get to have the life we want. Those are the experiences that call forth the greatest aspects of our humanity; the things that remind us it’s a blessing to be alive in a time when we’re able to pursue our dreams.
These moments are when you forge yourself into the person who creates a legacy of love, hope, empowerment, and freedom for the world and those you love.
I don’t know anyone during these times that has not felt that feeling of despair, hopelessness, and confusion. Feeling lost and alone trying to figure it all out.
You are not alone. We all go through it.
I was homeless twice, transferring PENNIES from bank accounts in order to afford a can of soup to eat. I was suicidal as a teenager when I was bullied and teased, but too pathetic to actually execute it. I faced rejection after rejection from women throughout my twenties. I had a six-figure software company go out of business after seven years. I cried myself to sleep as a teenager and adult from yet another weekend without friends. I have spent tens of thousands of dollars to undergo cutting-edge therapies that forced me to see my darkest, worst, and most evil qualities of myself.
This was all a choice. Even if I wanted to blame somebody then and be a victim, I understand now that my choices created all these situations. By taking responsibility, I’m empowered by them.
…but it doesn’t make it any easier. It doesn’t mean that I don’t feel all the awful feelings. It doesn’t mean that having support and feedback from those I trust and love isn’t helpful.
That’s why having a support network is so crucial; a group of people that understand EXACTLY what we’re going through because they’ve been there. While it can be a lonely journey at times, we don’t have to do it alone. And in fact, we can’t.
It’s important that you surround yourself with the right people… but nobody can save you.
The will to go on must come from within, and be for a purpose greater than yourself. Yes we need people to believe in us, to encourage, and support our visions. The times when people reflect back our divinity and gifts are awe-inspiring. But the outside will can only takes us so far without it also having to come from within.
If you don’t know your “why”, you are manipulable and vulnerable to quitting. A ship without a rudder, getting tossed in every direction by the volatile whims of the oceanic market or an immature, mercurial, emotional system.
You will learn more about yourself and what you really want during these times more than any.
That’s why they’re so important and necessary. It’s why I’m not sitting here trying to take your suffering away or protect you from the dangers of entrepreneurship with trite affirmations.
The desire to share my gifts with the world runs so deep, it’s (almost) not even a choice for me anymore. Pursuing my purpose is like oxygen; I feel suffocated when I can’t. I’m not sure if that’s healthy, but I haven’t been able to quench it—and I’ve tried. Because I’ve had that haunting thought… the one of “how much ‘easier’ it would be if I could just be like everyone else and live a ‘normal life’ and be into normal people things”.
It reminds me of that scene in The Matrix where Cypher has a meeting with Agent Smith, and discusses a deal to be plugged back into the matrix. How it would be so much easier to forget everything, to eat juicy steak everyday instead of slosh, and not have to worry about the fight for freedom and survival. To even forget he gave up his freedom for comfort. To skip all the struggle for truth and just be a famous actor… at the price of betrayal.
We all have the choice. We can betray ourselves for a fantasy, or make the truth the most important thing.
It’s okay if you continue, and it’s okay if you don’t. All our paths and lessons are different. You must be honest with yourself, because at the end of the day, that’s who you have to answer to and make happy. You have to do you, and this process isn’t for everyone.
But, for those like myself that have no other choice but to continue…
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