Four Phases of Personal Growth
As a result of our cosmic abandonment issues (See Articles: Our Abandonment Issues Are The Catalysts…) we generally reside at either end of the behavior spectrum. At one end of the spectrum is maintaining control – doing for or not doing for others, but not allowing others to do for us. At the opposite end of the spectrum is co-dependency – doing to be loved; both are reactive behavior patterns.
As you ponder your reactive behavior patterns or those of others, try to keep in mind that we are all going through various phases of personal growth. I visualize human beings evolving through four growth phases. Those four phases are:
Phase 1—We Do Unto Others (Ego). We live a life with no consequences for our actions. We murder, lie, cheat, steal, plunder, pillage, rape, burn, torture, commit genocide, and indulge our wildest fantasies.
Phase 2—Others Do Unto Us (Ego). Whether we were aware of it or not, we had reciprocal agreements with those we victimized in Phase 1. In Phase 2, those IOU’s are paid back. We are murdered, lied to, cheated on, stolen from, plundered, pillaged, raped, burned, tortured, or the recipient of indulged fantasies. At this point we can become angry and indignant and seek revenge. We have three options: return to Phase 1and “do unto others,” remain in Phase 2 as a “victim,” or go to Phase 3. If we want to pay back what was done to us, we will return to Phase 1, to again become trapped in a karmic cycle of “doing to and being done to.”
Phase 3—Acceptance of What Is/Was/Will Be. Phase 3 is about potential; a potential for reunification of the ego and the soul and evolving to
Phase 4; or the potential to revert to Phase 1 and to ‘do unto others”. If we accept that we volunteered to play the role of victim in Phase 2, to balance out our role as perpetrator in Phase 1, we can break out of the karmic cycle of reactive behaviors and shatter the illusion of cosmic abandonment. We begin to have a sense that there is more to existence than what we are able to perceive with our five physical senses. We are now ready to embark on an inner journey of self-discovery, leading us to examine our lives, our decisions, and the consequences of those decisions. We want to know who we are and why we chose to come to Earth at this time. We are ready to go to Phase 4.
Phase 4—Integrating Our Ego and Our Soul. In this phase we reintegrate our ego and soul.
Until we reach Phase 4 the ego can sabotage the soul’s attempts to remember it chose to be here, rather than volunteering to be here. The ego’s abandonment issues are evident every time we do something out of fear, whether it’s due to codependent actions or actions that give the illusion of being in control. More often than not, the soul tries to ignore the ego and its fear-based decisions. It feels its Divineness and wants to reconnect with Source. It believes that the ego holds it back and therefore tries to ignore ego-based feelings and emotions. This attitude drives a wedge between the ego and the soul. The ego, feeling abandoned and ignored by the soul, sabotages the soul’s desire for reconnection with Source.
I can best explain this with a picture. We’ve all seen the cartoon where a dog is enticed to chase another animal and just as it is about to catch it he reaches the end of his leash and is suddenly jerked backward. The same situation applies to us. We may commit ourselves to the spiritual path and pursue it with determination and single-minded focus. Everything seems to be falling into place when suddenly we are jerked backward. Stunned at the abrupt change, we immediately question Spirit. We are confused, even angry; haven’t we been doing everything required of us? Yes we have. But, in the process, we have neglected an important aspect of our self—the ego. It was the ego that jerked on the chain to remind the soul that this is a partnership and that the ego will no longer be ignored.
How Do We Get The Soul And Ego To Work Together?
Visualize a convertible by the side of a road and a driver standing next to it. Neither can get very far without the assistance of the other. The car can drift down a hill and the driver can walk but how far can either of them go? Together, however, there is no limit where or how far they can go. The driver gets in the car, puts down the top, inserts their favorite music, checks the map (or GPS), and sets off on an adventure. Working in harmony, the car and the driver know they are partners on a journey.
It’s basically the same with our ego and sold. Without a soul, the body cannot experience joy. Without a body, the soul cannot experience physicality.
Try this Integration Exercise:
Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed by others or by the sounds of electrical devices. Sit down and close your eyes. Slowly inhale through your nose for a count of five. Hold this breath for a count of five and then slowly exhale through your lips for a count of five. Repeat this three times. When you feel relaxed, visualize being inside your body.
As a third party (your essence), acknowledge the presence of the ego and then recognize the presence of the soul. Mentally project them out of your head into a space where they can sit across from each other. Speaking to both at the same time, invite them to join you in a dialog about their relationship. Ask the ego to explain its reasons for sabotaging the soul whenever it tries to soar, or ask if it feels the soul gives it enough respect. Ask the ego about its abandonment issues, and if there is anything else it wants to discuss. Thank the ego for expressing its feelings. Then ask the soul why it doesn’t give the ego more respect. Ask the soul what could be more important than working in partnership with its physical aspect that helps ground it to the planet. Thank the soul. Thank them both for agreeing to form a conscious partnership.
Now direct them to speak with each other and reach a solution that will allow them to work as a team. For example, point out that the soul cannot accomplish its mission without a physical body and that the ego cannot experience joy without a soul. While they are doing this, continue to observe as a third party. Once they reach a solution, thank them for their hard work and ask them to state what they have agreed upon. Thank them again and then invite both back into your mental space where the three of you meld into a single entity. This new self will have the courage to make decisions that will enable it to evolve to its highest potential.
Being aware of these four developmental phases and using the above exercise enables us to make more proactive life choices and fewer reactive life choices.
Marrying Your Self (Part of Integration Exercise)
You may want to consider doing this exercise on the next new moon, a time for new plantings. After completing the exercise, perform a marriage ceremony between your ego and your soul. The purpose of this exercise is to begin making your Self your first priority. You will begin doing what you love, not to be loved or to maintain control. As a wedding band, give yourself a ring, a piece of jewelry, crystal, mineral, rock, flower, even a stone found in a parking lot.
Sample Ceremonial Words:
My ego and soul are now integrated as a single unit within my essence. From this day forth, I will make myself my first priority by doing what I love not to be loved or to maintain control. I will honor the physical needs of my ego and the spiritual needs of my soul.
Michael can be reached at 561 866-5479 or at Michael@awakener.com.
By: Michael Brill