From Survival to Evolution

The end of another year is approaching, and it is somehow normal at this time to engage in deep reflections. Even if the time as we mark it is only a shared convention and the years only begin and end in the way we calculate them, this established end and beginning leads us to make assessments and forecasts, to set resolutions.

We have almost completed another "round of the carousel" and the many things that have happened and are happening allow me to see clearly that our approach to life is changing profoundly.

An accelerated evolutionary process is underway that is leading many people to inevitably confront traumas, wounds and deep fears. And this is not easy at all because it causes disorientation, anxiety, a sense of vulnerability and uncertainty, and in some cases even depression.

But what if I told you these are blessings in disguise?

It is as if many things that we had crushed, hidden, buried, are coming back to the surface, forcing us to look at them and understand their value in our lives. Because in reality nothing ever happens by chance; it takes place as an evolutionary life project for our soul.

Many of us are waking up to an understanding of ourselves that goes far beyond the roles we play every day and, from these windows that are opening, even with a lot of pain, light is flooding in. With this is the awareness that, if we take responsibility for change, we can have a far better life.

Change is possible for everyone. Even if those who struggle to satisfy their primary needs usually see it as a distant mirage, something that is not within their realm of experience. And this belief traps and holds them in the sense of helplessness it generates.

Yet change is not a simple step for anyone because it involves challenging the series of mental habits and preferences with which we have grown up. These have become so familiar that we consider them our reality, while instead they only represent a survival reality.

I'm sure you'll easily recognise some of these habits:

  • the habit of solving present problems using solutions developed in the past, without asking yourself if you have better options;
  • the habit of keeping things as they are, even if they are not optimal, just because they are familiar;
  • the habit of prioritising a sense of safety, security and certainty that keeps you in the comfort zone instead of embracing curiosity and exploration, which is a human gift;
  • the habit of immediately blaming others instead of first admitting your share of responsibility for how things went;
  • the habit of not wanting to look at the bottom of the barrel and admit truths that are uncomfortable;
  • the habit of playing small and having limited horizons instead of broadening your vision and recognising your worth and talent;
  • the habit of always complaining.

If we act and react based on these habits that represent our ego's preferences, we are trapped in the fight, flight and freeze mechanism typical to survival. We imagine the world as a jungle and consequently we hurt before being hurt. We deny the evidence so as not to be punished, we hide so as not to be seen…

Evolution begins with an account of everything we have unknowingly created. These attitudes come back to us through malaise, anxiety, lack of motivation, panic attacks, phobias and addiction. And instead of letting them crush us, we begin a quest to understand their meaning.

Many of us are at this point now: instead of accepting suffering, we are starting to question it. And this is like opening the windows in a dark and dusty room. It’s daunting at first, but the more the air changes, the more you clean it up and the more you see things as they really are, the more you discover treasures you never even imagined owning.

Evolution begins with facing what you have been running away from for so long, allowing you to look at yourself from a different perspective and dismantling one after another the beliefs that have moulded and imprisoned you. This is really, first of all, an undressing and lightening up. Stop resisting and let go. Imagine walking in armour for years and then discovering the sensation of bare feet and the sun on your skin…

I know it takes courage to put yourself on the line, maybe that's why so many only get there when they hit rock bottom. Maybe they’re even ill. But I guarantee you that when you choose to abandon the survival mindset, the world will stop being a battlefield and it will finally begin to look like the wonderful playground it should have been all along.

(pic courtesy Adam Hornyak for Unsplash) 

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