Breakdowns and Breakthroughs...
Breakthroughs are interesting experiences. "Interesting" in a somewhat sardonic sense, as they can be incredibly powerful, meaningful, enlightening, gut-wrenching, and emotionally-shocking all at the same time. I tell my clients when we first meet that the mindset work I do is not surface-level -- that it takes them on a much deeper journey. And that's what breakthroughs are all about: digging deep into yourself to uncover what's holding you back, and then getting out of your own way. Oftentimes, the most difficult part about experiencing a breakthrough is what precedes it: a breakdown.
Now, a breakdown doesn't have to be a rock-bottom, question-my-reason-for-being-here kind of time, but it does have that potential. It will often... illuminate... facets about ourselves we're not so fond of bringing into the light. It's uncomfortable exploring our own faults, because they uncover areas of pain, displeasure, and even embarrassment regarding ourselves and our behaviour. It's a very raw and vulnerable experience when -- given a breakdown of sufficient magnitude -- you begin to question the very way you think/act/feel/believe in the grand scheme of things. It's also something I hope all of you are ready and willing to accept in your lives.
Let me be clear: I'm not wishing pain and emotional suffering on all of you -- I'm not that big of a meanie. No, rather I'm hoping that all of you are willing to experience a breakdown because of the immense power and confidence you gain when you once again rise. It's very 'phoenix from the ashes' in its imagery. When it comes to our beliefs and identities, we often need to break them down to their base elements and rebuild from that point. With no pretext for our actions -- with no perpetuation of stories and limits that we've created and held onto from our past -- we are free to create that which we want, rather than that which we think should be.
This process pairs very well with last week's topic of letting go. Once we've uncovered the ugly truth about ourselves and our actions, a breakdown is the perfect setting to let things go. As we discovered, letting go can truly be an act of clearing space for all kinds of wonderful and amazing things. Until we realize what's cluttering our minds and beliefs, we really don't know what to let go of; that moment of breakdown -- amidst the flurry of emotion and possible distress -- creates the awareness we seek, and provides us with clarity. Now, it can certainly take some time to achieve clarity, depending on the difficulty that accompanies the breakdown; however, when we bring the right mindset to the situation, we can much more readily begin the healing and creation process. Healing ourselves by letting go of the old habits and negative emotions (shame, guilt, blame) attached to them, and creating our 'true' selves -- living in the flow and intention of our own personal truth.
Breakdowns can be difficult. They can be ugly. Destruction often is. But breakdowns represent the kind of destruction that a cleansing fire is to a forest. It wipes away the old, yet leaves the soil fertile for the new to grow. From a breakdown, we can experience phenomenal and empowering personal growth, so long as we have the will and desire to do so. It may be easy to give up and give in when the gut-punch of a breakdown hits, but we all know by now that the 'easy' way is seldom the path to personal empowerment and change. I do not wish pain upon any of you, though I do wish for a breakdown. That moment where you say, "enough is enough", "never again", or, "there's no going backwards". Allow that breakdown to enlighten you about yourself, and create a level of awareness that keys you in to the only voice that truly matters: your own. When you really start listening to it, you've set yourself on the path for a beautiful breakthrough.