The Key to Making a Big Change is Transforming a Big Catastrophe
Not too long ago someone sent me a dream about being on the Titanic and helping people in the life boats. It got me thinking that unless you have lived your life in a protected bubble, we all have been on the “Titanic” at one time or another. We all have had to face catastrophes, big huge tests, that we were not ready for at the time. The Titanic happened partly out of arrogance which is quite common to a lot of human catastrophe, but even without the arrogance, we are sometimes tested way beyond our ability to cope at the time.
If there is a positive side to the Titanics that we have experienced, it is this. The huge sea of negative emotion, usually fear, that the catastrophe leaves in your memory is a place where we can go to repeatedly for lots of growth. I have no idea why the Creator chose to make us this way. I just know that the big negative things that have happened to me like being fired when I thought I was doing the best work ever, are the places where I can repeatedly return for sources of new growth. Like every other human being, I deplore it when catastrophe strikes, and certainly would never wish it to occur to myself or anyone, but honestly, it would be difficult to imagine big transformation without having had major trauma. I think that there may be some people who can go for a great deal of change without being so challenged and perhaps there will be generations of people who can go after change without feeling negative inside, but they are pretty rare. Our tests are our greatest reservoir of growth.
How does it work? It is pretty simple actually. Imagine you were one of those passengers aboard the Titanic steaming for America when suddenly you hit an iceberg and the ship sinks. You may make it to a life boat, but what happens next. The ego takes over and puts in a memory of the experience so that you won’t forget the horror. You now have fear every time you get on board a vessel going for a long distance from one place to another. Whereas before you traveled from one place to another easily, now you have fear when you travel. Fear is like an extra passenger. Inwardly, when you think about moving from one state of being to a newer one, a better one, you are hesitant because now you have fear. What to do?
If you understand how to work with fear, then you don’t have to be afraid of it. It is like FDR said. “The only thing to fear is fear itself.” Instead of being fearful of dealing with the fear, you can learn how to embrace it and use it for growth. It is relatively easy also. How does it work? So lets say that the reason you were on the Titanic is that you were going to America to find a new life. Now when you think about going for a new life, you have a huge fear of something horrific happening where lots of people die. You replay the death of so many, then you imagine it happening again, and hold yourself back from going for it. The thing you are supposed to learn, the new capacity, is lodged right in the fear. All you have to do is find its spiritual opposite and you will begin to be transformed right before your eyes. This really works.
What is a spiritual opposite? A spiritual opposite is the inner process 180 degrees opposite to the fear in a positive direction and beneficial for lots of others. Instead of being in fear that lots of people are going to die when you go for your new life and then holding yourself back, the process you need to learn is seeing positive possibilities that bring new life and energy to yourself and others and then acting on them. Most programs that deal with trauma don’t include the beneficial piece, but it is crucial, because it is part of human nature to be beneficial to others, to make the world a better place. I venture to say that a lot of people on board the Titanic were seeking material fortune in coming to America, but that was not their true inner purpose. They didn’t know their purpose. They only knew the importance of economic survival.
When catastrophe strikes, there is always a spiritual purpose that is at the core of the transformation. That purpose will always benefit a lot of people. When you get attracted to the true purpose, the fear no longer needs to stay with you in such an intense way. You have to understand that our true nature is fundamentally spiritual, fundamentally transcendent. The material aspect of us is only temporary.
Try looking at your catastrophes with new eyes, not something that you needed to avoid, but an opportunity to learn a new process that will benefit humankind. The positive energy is in opposition to the fear or other negative emotion.
Here are some possible examples.
- The fear of being assaulted = the fear of being assaulted comes when someone forcible (using their material power) tries to take something from you for their own selfish benefit. Spiritual opposite- reaching out to people and providing a service that will benefit others using your positive capacities.
- The fear of losing a big game – this fear comes when you are trying to beat someone else and get your esteem based on the win. Spiritual opposite- participating together with others for a positive outcome.
- The fear of the apocalypse- this is the fear of really bad stuff happening that will destroy everything. Spiritual opposite- finding positive things to do that builds and adds positively to everyone’s life.