Nobody likes crises. Yet most who have survived one would be able to tell you that they gained something valuable from the experience and how it’s made them better persons. I believe that crises often happen to help steer us back on the path that is aligned with our soul:
Sometimes, it happens after we’ve failed to see and follow repeated signals that our soul had been giving us; when anything short of a crisis would not get our attention.
Other times, it happens because the crisis is deemed to be the best way for us to learn specific lessons.
Whilst we cannot really avert crises if they are part of the experience our souls have chosen for us, in cases where a part of us can sense we are heading towards a not-so-good place, we can take matters into our hands and avert a probable crisis.
In addiction recovery, it is often believed that unless you hit rock-bottom, you would not be motivated to give up your addiction. That rock-bottom scenario usually entails some kind of crisis – bankruptcy, being evicted, losing a job, family leaving them, ending up in jail, etc. I believe, however, that you need not wait until you have reached a crisis point before changing, as usually by that time your resources are likely to be depleted.
Whatever stage of a downward-spiralling cycle you are at, you can take your power back and avert crisis.
Encouraging an addicted person to change before they reach a crisis point is not easy. They would tend to see change as deprivation, and unless you have a very good carrot to draw them from the other end, that addiction will win out. Granted, someone who is addicted to hard drugs may require a crisis to get them out of the cycle. But as long as you have a fairly good level of energy and your mental faculties are pretty clear, you can take proactive steps to end the cycle before reaching a crisis.
When you choose to end a particular situation – whether it is a destructive habit, an un-nurturing relationship, a job you hate, or any element of your lifestyle that you know is holding you back from being authentically you – you can avert a crisis.
It could also be something less tangible: an attitude, a certain thought pattern or belief, unforgiveness or resentment. Regardless, you know you’re in a cycle heading for a crisis when you feel as though you’ve come to a dead-end. You feel you have exhausted your options, and nothing you attempt to correct or improve the situation seems to be working.
Here’s the carrot:
When you’re in one of these cycles – a cycle that is taking you further and further away from your true self – you are losing power. Giving up this thing can give you enormous power: the power to make dreams come true and even to transform your current situation.
The rest of the article will guide you on how to avert crisis in relationships, from habits that drain your resources and a job that requires you to go against your values.
Taking Your Power Back From A Relationship
A common arena where you can apply this is in a relationship in which you’re feeling disappointed and frustrated. It could be with a parent, sibling, friend or romantic parter. And you’ve been trying to change the person’s behaviours.
Often, when we’ve come to a dead-end like this, it’s because we’re too attached to that person, driven by a personal need to fulfil some part of us that is missing or that we can’t fulfil ourselves yet. The dead end is a gift to give us space to undo our attachment, take a step back and approach the situation being clearer and cleaner in our agenda.
What is your true agenda? Sometimes, it may seem to us that we’re coming from a place of wanting to help that person but may actually be co-dependency in disguise. Whilst it may be true that you want to help that person, it might also be hiding a deeper agenda. Examining your deeper agenda can free you from this place in which you are stuck.
It is an opportunity to heal a part of you which your soul is prompting you to heal and find a way to fulfil that need yourself. Without healing these inadequacies, the relationship can become a platform for you to act them out. Hence, you drive the relationship into a negative direction where conflicts, jealousy, resentment are generated, building up to a crisis.
Allow yourself to be guided in the direction you’re guided to go. Find another way to fulfil that need, independent of that person. When you’re able to do this, the power that comes back to you is enormous.
In many cases, even your relationship with that which you let go of will flow again; perhaps the person who was unreachable may suddenly demonstrate a shift, or something external will happen, an unexpected event, and the flow between you is restored. Or that person may cease to be a source of pain, or cease to be in your life – giving you the freedom to live according to your preference.
A caveat: You cannot do this with the agenda of making another person change. You must do this with sincerity and be genuine in your own process of healing and growth. This means doing it purely from a position of recognising the opportunity, receiving that gift and using it to grow. Otherwise, there is no growth and nothing can change as a reflection of the sameness.
Reversing the Power Role with a Resource-Draining Habit
Do you indulge in a habit that you know is draining you of your financial resources? Perhaps it is depleting you of your mental and emotional resources. It may be a habit that is affecting your health negatively. Or something that you do that’s distracting you from your spiritual practice and compromises your wellbeing on every level.
You can sense that by allowing it to continue, you are heading for a crisis. Yet you’re unable to tap into the feelings of benefitting from stopping it. Others who are trying to discourage you from the habit may cite a list of negative consequences but you’re still not motivated enough to stop it.
When you’ve reached this stage where you’re aware of what you’re doing and where you’re heading, it is an opportunity to turn towards another source for true fulfilment. It’s a gift, an invitation, to connect with yourself. After all, the thrill, pleasure or enjoyment from the habit has worn off; it no longer does the job of giving you what you think you’re seeking.
A habit becomes excessive when you’re depending on it to fulfil a part of you that is unhealed. This often becomes apparent only after repeated, prolonged indulgence. By heeding your inner nudgings, you can find your way to the place that needs healing. Paying attention to this part of you, with sensitivity and tenderness, will begin to remove the neediness that drives you to your habit and allow you to reclaim your power.
A warning: Sometimes, after we have averted an unpleasant event, we take things for granted again, returning to our old behaviour. Almost inevitably, in such cases we would be presented with a bigger, more serious version of that event. This is part of our soul’s commitment to ensuring our evolution which comes from learning our lessons. The true test is whether we can stay on our new chosen path when the scary event is no longer here.
Giving Up a Soul-Sucking Job
You may be holding a job that requires you to go against your values, a job that doesn’t utilise your true talents, or a job that involves tasks you dislike doing. For practical, survival reasons, you may have stuck to this job as you see no other option. Yet, you’re paying the price for it: You feel your spirit is dying.
It may be adversely affecting your relationships with closed ones. It may be making you sick. It may be driving you to cope with your unhappiness through self-destructive habits, which create more problems for you. Whatever it is, you know it is not leading you to a good place.
As undesirable as it may seem, this is a powerful place to be in, for you are staring at a gateway to true happiness. That feeling of unhappiness – the sense that you are betraying your soul and who you truly are – hides your power.
Stop for a moment and pay closer attention to that feeling of unhappiness in you. It is only when we ignore or try to run away from it that we end up being more and more entrenched in the unhappy place. By allowing yourself to move in the opposite direction, you arrest the cycle, stop the progression to a worsened stage, and avert a possible crisis.
Allow yourself to feel the unhappiness completely. Bring your full awareness to it. Wake up inside of that feeling and let your consciousness touch the inside of that feeling. Get a sense of being totally present and aware while feeling it. Most of the time, you will experience the veil lifting, the parting of the clouds of illusion. In that expanded space, you will see clearly and one of two things will happen: You have clear inner guidance of what to do, or you feel your conflicts reconciled and you feel at peace with the situation you were struggling with.
Crises are a good way for us to learn valuable lessons. But sometimes it is unnecessary. until we make it so by not heeding what we deep down know. By making certain adjustments, we can prevent a crisis from being necessary.