Beware the Ides of March

Melissa's Musing On the Challenges of Self Actualization


Beware the Ides of March

"Beware The Ides Of March"

It is the Ides of March, that most ominous day that Julius Caesar was to beware of. It is a day that reminds us to beware of the things that are always waiting in the wings to stop us from being our true selves, realizing our real potential.

On this day of reflection I can see how there have been many things in my life that I have allowed to run interference, to block me from moving towards a better understanding of who I am and then self actualizing based on that understanding and insight. I suspect that I am not alone in the feeling that I have allowed the slings and arrows of others to kill much, if not all of the true vision and value of what my life could have been. This is not to say that the experiences of the past were totally wrong, life is full of many experience based wisdom teachers. You cannot argue with what happened, because it happened or as Byron Katie would say you cannot argue with reality because it wins 100% of the time. So do not feel bad about the past, accept it, but learn from it. It is possible to finally wake from this fog and start to see that you have been the actor in the play of others. In fact you can start to see how so much of your life has been defined by the wants and needs of others.

How does this happen? I am coming to the realization that it happens because we feel that our wants and needs are not important. By feeling this way we allow others to make us feel that their wants and needs are more important than ours. By being in this state of living it then becomes extremely easy to take to heart the requirements of others to such a degree that you eventually lose sight of your hopes, dreams, desires. You become lost and yet you also feel this pang inside, this burning and yearning for something that you cannot clearly describe, it is a feeling of great discomfort that something has gone terribly wrong.

As this feeling gets stronger and as you start to initiate steps to figure this out you find yourself running into walls of your own creation. They are walls that make you feel guilty for wanting to do or be other than the role that you have become accustomed to. These internal and external foes use the weapons of guilt and words like you are being so selfish, how could you think only of yourself, when in actual fact you have not been thinking of yourself for a long time.

That is the destructive nature of losing your sense of your own being, your true purpose. You realize, if you get the chance to see through that small crack in the wall, that you are actually creating more damage to the world around you by not being true to who you were always supposed to be. Not being your authentic self is like driving a car and grinding the gears, you are getting to a destination but you are wearing out the underlying mechanism of your engine and getting closer and closer to complete system failure.

Once you start to smell smoke it is time to wake up from that dream, lift the hood and start to really face up to what you feel is so terribly wrong. If you don't then eventually your soul will crack and your spiritual fluids will leak all over the place and make one hell of a mess. I believe that that is the place where I have been for the last number of years, I smell the smoke and I am looking for the source of the fire before the whole building burns down.

Initially, in a state of self denial we reject the notion that change is required, after all we think that it would be so easy to just ignore it all, but eventually we realize that if we do not do something sooner than later things will blow apart. As the commercial goes, you can pay me now or you can pay me later, but eventually you will have to pay. The sooner you address this the less damage there will be and the greater the possibility of repairing the damage to a point where you can be whole again.

So there we are confronting our demons. Depending on what those demons are and the challenges that they are creating facing up to them may require only small course corrections that can be made while still managing to exist within your current life framework or they can be like the ones that I have experienced in my life where they completely burn down the house. The one thing that I have learned from having my house burned to the ground several times is that if you do not clean up the debris from the old existence you create a new one that still has burning embers in it. You get a little farther along in life but the seeds of destruction are still there and you get part way through the new construction project and the damn thing burns down again.

What this means is that in order to rebuild a life that speaks to the very truths that were buried long ago you have to scrape away the last bits and pieces of the things that did not work, that never worked and build up the house of your life from a clean and solid foundation. In order to do that you have to be brutally honest with yourself and may sure that you cart all of the elements of who you were to the curb for life garbage collection day. You need to get to the heart of who you know you are and be willing to let go of everything that you are not, everything that does not serve you well. This means making some very tough choices, choices that you cannot easily make, choices that will have big impacts on you and on those around you and yet in the end, if you really want to be happy, you have to make those choices and those changes. If you do not then eventually you will crash and burn again. Perhaps for the last time.

I am at that cross road. I can see all the things that I have done in the past that have been detrimental to who I should be and because of the problems they have created within me they have in an insidious way created problems for others who have shared the path that is my life. I must face the reality that if I am ever to shape a life where I can truly reach my personal potential and happiness that I must make the difficult changes that are necessary. I challenge all of you to do the same.

All the best to all of you in your own personal journey. Beware the Ides of March for upon them you will see the seeds of your destruction and your rebirth into a new and potentially much happier you.