Often people get to the point in life where they reach an impasse, and they don’t know how to solve a particular situation in their lives.
There doesn’t seem to be a way forward and there doesn’t seem to be a solution. Although this can happen at any point in life, it seems particularly prevalent at mid-life.
Often, the way one becomes aware of this is that you just realize that the way that you have been trying to solve a particular problem or deal with a particular life situation just isn’t opening anything up. What this tells you, at least in part, is that your attitude is no longer adapted to the realities of your life.
Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying something along the lines of “If you want it enough, and you’re unfailingly positive about it, what you want in your life will come” — the kind of message that you find in books like The Secret. I think that approach to life is quite naive, and I have seen a fair number of people come to real harm as a result of trying to live like that. Such an attitude can be really unadapted, and can lead you into a major collision in reality. I know of one person who left home and found herself absolutely destitute and friendless in Dubai as a result of that kind of thinking. From all that I hear, Dubai is not a great place to be penniless, and to try and get by on just a sunny smile.
Having an adapted attitude may well mean that there are certain realities that I have to let in and acknowledge. That may even mean that there are things that I have to grieve. What it may mean, above all, is that I have to change.
Let’s say that I’m a true died-in-the-wool “thinking type” person. So I try to approach all the problems and situations in my life in very rational, thought-out, dispassionate ways. Then perhaps one day I find myself deep in the grip of a depression that I simply can’t shake. It might well be that the only way that I’m going be able to come through the depression and feel alive again is by acknowledging my feeling side — all those years of unacknowledged and suppressed feelings. This is going to require a big change in the way that I see myself, and a lot of open-ness to dimensions of my life that I’ve previously done my very best to cut off. It isn’t going to be easy. Parts of me are really going to resist. But it may well be that it’s the only way that I’m going to get my real, meaningful life back.
Similarly, a person who is all about willpower and control may well have to acknowledge the parts of him- or herself in the unconscious that they can’t control. They may have to admit that the ego is going to have to acknowledge that it is “second banana” to the Self, and let things emerge from their dreams and from other parts of the unconscious, and take those things into account in the way that they live their lives. This might be quite difficult, but it might just give them a meaningful life again.
Many times “hitting the wall” has to do with coming up against the things that I really refuse to admit to myself. The key to the lock that I need to open, I hide from myself, because there is some truth about myself or my situation that I really don’t want to look at.
The only way past the wall is to be open to something new: the undiscovered self.
Please keep sending me your comments and your thoughts! I would welcome any of your reflections on the “walls” in your life, past or present.
My very best wishes to you on your individual journey to wholeness,
© 2009 Brian Collinson