“The perfect journey is circular… the joy of departure and the joy of return.”
— Dino Basili
Understanding the bigger picture of life helps bring meaning to our challenges
Imagine the journey of life as a simple circle. If we drew a circle on paper, we would write ‘Source/Universal/God/Spirit/Love…’ at a point at the top of the circle. This point represents both the beginning and the end of our journey.
What? At the end of it all, we end up where we started? Why bother? Well, we can only speculate here but perhaps the whole purpose to the life cycle is to allow us to experience our own growth and expansion. And certainly growth seems to be the nature of the game when we look at evolution from the standpoint of three distinct phases.
For human beings, the first stage of the journey could be called the Path of Personality Development. We arrive on Earth at birth as a precious and unconscious bundle of love. From that moment on, we absorb, respond to and learn from the many influences around us. Watching and mirroring our parents and guardians, we gradually perceive ourselves as an individual separate from others. We adopt beliefs, opinions, preferences, characteristics and habits. Our ego and personality take shape as we slowly grow and evolve physically, emotionally and mentally. As we get more and more involved with the world around us, we lose touch with our true higher nature.
The Path of Personality explores the experience of pleasures, separation and duality. As personalities, we believe in individuality and we buy into the prevailing model of limitation, scarcity, materialism and competition. This phase is characterized by attachment, distortion, coping, self-centeredness, outer focus and judgment. These beliefs in separation give rise to fear, pain and pride, and because we believe power to be ‘out there,’ we are prone to seeing ourselves as victims.
Two thirds of the way down the circle of life we reach an important TRANSITION POINT where the focus of our lives shifts significantly. This point is often triggered by recurring suffering and crises and it brings a new awareness and awakening. Essentially, at this point we know life can be better and we vow to make it happen.
Passing this first major transition point, we embark upon the Path of Growth. We realize there is some order and meaning to our challenges, that the struggles can bring learning and change. We begin to search for truths. We develop character, skills, morals and values. We eagerly explore how to make sense of our new world. We take courses, read books and try new techniques as we look for answers. Our awareness increases, our worldview expands and we have a sense of control and influence in our lives. We have more clarity around what we want in life and confidence that we can make this happen. We take more responsibility for our thoughts, emotions and actions. Our thinking, wisdom and consciousness expand.
As we move past the bottom of the circle and up the other side, we start our return journey. We may feel better about ourselves as we purposefully handle life and our growth. But then we hit a second major TRANSITION POINT that may once again be characterized by crises and suffering. At this stage, we become aware of the need to give up the ego. As mature as our personality has become, it is still rooted in duality and therefore illusion. And so we embark upon the Path of Higher Self.
In the last two thirds of our circle journey back home, we begin to see through the illusions of this material world. We begin to connect with our authentic true nature – the love, potential and wisdom that has been there supporting us all along but we were not aware of it. Many of the rules of living change; our beliefs shift and even completely dissolve as we become a human being more than a human doing.
On this path, we focus on inner work, knowing that this not only serves us but others also. We experience opening up, detachment, expansion, inclusion and evolution. We trust higher intuitive guidance as our authority and are fully accountable for all aspects of our lives. We experience more synchronicity and magic in our lives. As we let go of faulty beliefs, we allow our soul to genuinely express through us. We naturally are more authentic and purposeful. Personal will gives way to divine will.
As unique expressions of the divine, our journeys through these different chapters of life expand consciousness.
Where might you place yourself on this circle of life? Are you traveling the path of personality development? Have you moved through your first transition point where your focus has shifted from the outer world to your inner world? Or have you turned back towards home with a growing awareness of your spiritual essence?
Please don’t judge any step of the life path as more important or advanced than the others. Wherever we are, it’s perfect!