Perhaps you have suffered a crisis in your life recently that has left your heart broken, or maybe your life feels like it’s in ruins for some other reason, such as severe illness, grief, job loss, bankruptcy, etc.
Or maybe you just feel empty inside?
I would call something like this a Personal Crisis.
The fact is that you can find yourself in a personal crisis anytime and that dealing with such a situation is never going to be easy, that’s why it’s called a crisis. And when you get through it, you will tell your friends that you survived.
In the meantime, however, maybe:
- You feel numb or simply stunned, but you continue with your daily routines like a robot.
- You feel trapped and despairing with nobody you can to turn to for help.
- The future looks dark and bleak.
This is the moment when many people reach for alcohol (or other drugs) or embark on crazy adventures or try out other self-harm methods to “de-stress”.
But wait… every personal crisis is a life experience that you can learn from and you don’t need to simply blot out the memory.
“The only whole heart is a broken one.”
– Menachem Mendel, religious scholar
I love this quote because it provides the key to finding some meaning in your crisis and some hope and benefits from a way forward in recovery. What it says is that in order to be a whole, fulfilled person you actually have to have faced major crises in your life and lost!
But Mendel is not the only person to say this, Rahm Emanuel, Former Mayor of Chicago said,
“You should never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could never do before.”
And Martha Beck, American Author said,
“I really do think that any deep crisis is an opportunity to make your life extraordinary in some way.”
Each of these successful people says that even a crisis that even almost breaks you is the start of a path back to wholeness. Failure is a result that you can learn from. There will be hope and motivation after your crisis.
And this ultimately leads you back to yourself and who you really are as a person. Before the crisis, you were almost certainly off-centre and you then need to get back on track. As the eminent scientist, David Bohm went on further to say,
“Individuality is only possible if it unfolds from wholeness.”
A Suggested Approach
Firstly, in the event of a crisis you need to:
- Stay calm, because it’s rarely as bad as you think it is
- Be prepared to make some tough decisions based on what is important to you
- Consider facing up to some of your fears and seek the real causes of your stresses
- Pay attention to your feelings, but don’t dwell on them
- Be kinder to yourself and stop being quite so judgmental
- Come up with some actions you can take to improve your situation, even today
What you really want to do is to get on with your life in the certain knowledge that you are on the right path and that you really are succeeding in building your life up step-by-step.
You want to know you are truly that special person you feel you are.
You don’t want to miss out on any more of your life simply because you are too busy doing something else.
You want your family and friends to appreciate and admire you for who you have become.
If you are interested in overcoming your personal crisis then take a look at my Crisis Program right now.
An emotional personal crisis is usually the culmination of a sequence of events that is seemingly beyond your control. But your world is probably less created by reason and more the result of the powerful energies in your psyche that drive your emotions, your impulses, and your behaviour.
The root of an emotional crisis is really from conflicts in your subconscious mind.
So first you need to deal with the immediate crisis to achieve some sort of stability then you need to follow that up with some methods to get to the real heart of your problems so we can turn that crisis into an opportunity for growth.
Tools that I have personally used include dream interpretation, active imagination, focusing, meditation, mindfulness, archetypal images, etc…
In particular, I have found that dream interpretation is a good entrance into what is going on inside my own mind.
Indeed, the psychologist Sigmund Freud said dreams are “the royal road” to our inner selves and the psychotherapist Carl Jung said dreams are “trapdoors into our unconscious minds”.
To find out more about dreams see Live Your Dream
Again, for me the follow up after a crisis went beyond the immediate tactical solutions and became my path of wisdom to find wholeness. I call this my Personal Quest and it’s about achieving wholeness, fulfilment, meaning and personal congruence and integration.
I would say that in fact, it is impossible to be on a Personal Quest unless you have faced personal crises, for without them you would never have the motivation and drive to keep going.
Discomfort arising from a crisis is a great motivator.
Just as the Quest for the Holy Grail back in medieval times came about as a result of social pressures that made life almost intolerable for many people, so your crisis can help you to achieve something special in your life too.
As Anne M. Mulcahy, Former CEO Xerox Corporation said,
“When you have that window of opportunity called a crisis, move as quickly as you can, get as much done as you can. There’s a momentum for change that’s very compelling.”