Let’s examine that statement scientifically for a minute, shall we? In nature, the idea of natural selection is that it determines which traits are passed onto future generations and who (or what) remains to pass on those traits, all of which is governed by those able to adapt to changes in the environment.
The world is a fluctuating, flowing place. It could be called fluid, so if you’re rigid and not able to go with the flow, then you get stuck trying to swim up stream and end up causing yourself all kinds of unneeded stress. You are resisting change, unable to adjust, and it creates a sense of internal struggle.
Anthropology has shown us that as human beings we tend to take much longer than necessary to accept new paradigms and draw them into our philosophy such that our higher brain functions of the cerebral cortex actually get in the way. Essentially, our analytical thinking processes work against us.
Similarly, our limbic system, which functions on archaic fear-based assumptions, pulls us in the other direction, creating a delicate balancing act between feeling and logic that can only be bridged through building trust in your intuition.
You have to learn to trust your “gut instincts” because that is your body’s way of saying that you know something that can’t be put into words because the limbic system, that which deals with emotion and behavior, and the higher brain, that which is responsible for thought and language, cannot cross modalities; therefore, we are occasionally unable to cognitively make sense of certain feelings.
We have got to be willing to accept new information, and people who brush their intuitive feelings aside are training themselves not to trust their own instincts, which creates what is known as cognitive dissonance. When you know something in your core but refuse to accept it because it doesn’t make sense logically, it creates stress, because you are going against your own unconscious insight.
Dying to Grow
Life cannot be put into a box, and the more you try to insert reason where there is only feeling, the less likely you are to grasp the abstract concepts that appeal to your reptilian brain, which are no less valid than your pragmatism, yet distinct all the same.
So, now that I’ve laid the groundwork, let’s dive into the philosophy of why you have to be growing, otherwise you’re dying. If you are not pursuing your true passion in life, cultivating a healthy self-image, and constantly seeking higher perspectives on what makes you tick, then there is an emptiness inside of you that cannot be filled with any amount of entertainment or personal gratification.
I know I said we were going to dive into the philosophy, but this is pure psychology. The more you attempt to distract yourself from the fact that you’re not really moving forward in life, the more you unconsciously sabotage your happiness and end up creating more chaos in your life, rather than the sense of peace we’re all looking for.
Now for the philosophy. Peace and contentment are not the same thing. Being at peace means you are open to however life unfolds, while contentment means to have a false sense of comfort about where you are and, therefore, who you have become as a result. Those who acknowledge that it is more about the journey than the destination truly do have a deeper understanding of a happy, meaningful existence.
Sometimes a part of you has to die in order to grow. You literally have to let go of old thinking patterns, which are not always outright negative ones, that keep you trapped in the same old daily grind of fighting with your true self and the “self” you have been told is you all throughout life.
Growing to Death
Allow me to tell you something about myself that I have been trying to hide from my audience to illustrate. To this day I still struggle with social anxiety. Its nowhere near as pronounced as it once was, and I can comfortably go out into public now, but there was a time when even the thought of leaving my house was absolutely terrifying.
I would spend days, even weeks, inside my home, without ever venturing out into public unless I absolutely had to. I was being controlled by this almost agoraphobic debilitation that I created in my mind. I built up the outside world as this jarring, humiliating place where I couldn’t even go to the grocery store without feeling like I was being looked at like some sort of freak.
Now, the point of this story is, I built up this persona by alienating myself from those around me, which trickled down into every facet of my life. I was a very sinister and neurotic person who paraded the fact that I did drugs, listened to some of the darkest music known to mankind, and that I was a misanthropist who couldn’t stand being around people.
Is it pretty obvious how I created my anxiety by building up these walls and then convincing myself that there was something wrong with me that had something to do with the outside world? It should be. I was so hard with my thinking, so close-minded, that I actually thought there was something wrong with everyone else.
This is the illusion that waking up often creates. Most people have this false sense of self-righteousness that only blinds them to the fact that what you see in other people is a reflection of what’s inside yourself, and that just because they think they know something you don’t, they’re somehow superior to you, regardless of whether they act on their ideas or not.
This is called an ego trap, because you think you’re making progress, but in reality if you aren’t changing what you do on a daily basis and still thinking that somehow your life is going to improve, you are not only kidding yourself, but you’re dying inside because that is not how life works.
We all know this consciously, but the concept has not really taken hold of our will to rise above the idea that life is all sunshine and rainbows just by thinking it is. Positive thinking does loads of good, much better than thinking negatively, but there has to be action and true belief along with the shift in perception to cultivate a healthy transition into self-esteem rather than egocentric stiffness.
For those interested in learning more about how to avoid dying inside by growing spiritually and emotionally, schedule a 30 minute healing session with me, and we will discover what you need to move forward by seeking out what is keeping you locked in a state of stagnation.