Stages in Our Soul’s Growth
In the first part of our life—until we reach our early twenties—we are trying to learn our societies’ rules so that we can fit in and not be a danger to it or to ourselves. Our twenties are a period of testing the rules to find our boundaries and this is a natural process. If we never push and question the established norms of society we will never ask the difficult questions which must be asked to create a soulful world.
It is during this first stage that we learn from society if we are winners or losers. Will we become a doctor or a lawyer or will we be unemployed? The personality is a vessel to house the soul and we must have a strong vessel to nurture our soul. When we damage people by calling them stupid, no good or bums we shatter this vessel.
We commence stage two by asking the question, “What do I want to do with my life?” In our twenties this question is usually not answered by our soul but by our personality as we have, only the information that our society has provided us. It is in our twenties that we examine societies’ existing options for work and see which one is most like us. The world of work has many standard jobs available to us. These are boxes of various sizes, shapes and colours and in our twenties we try to find the box that looks most like us and then, having found it, we try to fit ourselves into that box.
This can be a difficult time for individuals who cannot find a box like them within the existing options. The people who have the easiest time with stage two are those who are most highly socialized to the traditional values and expectations of society and who succeed well given the existing options. These are people who want to be a teacher, doctor or lawyer and whose academic record suits these professions. In other words, the boxes fit.
We continue developing our personality for ten or twenty years during our twenties and thirties. During this time we may move to several jobs and try to find a better fit between our talents, skills and values and the box that is available to us in the world.
Sometime in our thirties or possibly forties, we realize that living our life according to societies rules is not enough. In Christian literature stage three is called the dark night of the soul and it is characterized by depression and a feeling of emptiness and meaninglessness in life. In this stage no accomplishments in the outer world suffice to fill the growing void within. At this time people characteristically feel that they are no one, going nowhere, doing nothing. This is a time where, both personally and professionally, we ruthlessly assess what we are doing. Our question in stage three is “What have I been doing with my life?” Stage three is a time of no compromise. T.S. Eliot writes in his poem Four Quartets.
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing;
Everything to which we have been attached is questioned in stage three. We may contract a serious disease, be fired or have our spouse leave us. Often it is individuals who have achieved the greatest success in the world through their personalities that have the most difficult time surrendering their personalities to what their soul values. Conversely, individuals who never really fit in the old boxes are often the most willing to surrender what they achieved because they have less to lose. These individuals might be under employed in organizations or be entrepreneurs who have created their own boxes where they can achieve according to their talents.
The last stage in becoming a soul infused personality is to take responsibility for creating a better world. It is in this fourth stage that we are able to bring much more of our soul to our work and our work becomes an extension of who we are in our entire life. We may still be accountants, social workers, teachers but we are motivated to be in these professions by our soul not because of status our respect that society confers on them. Likewise, we may decide to leave traditional professions and forge an entirely new path for ourselves in order to take out soul to work.
Tanis Helliwell, a mystic in the modern world, has brought spiritual consciousness into the mainstream for over 30 years. Since childhood, she has seen and heard elementals, angels, and master teachers in higher dimensions. Tanis is the founder of the International Institute for Transformation (IIT), which offers programs to assist individuals to become conscious creators to work with the spiritual laws that govern our world.
Tanis is the author of Summer with the Leprechauns, Pilgrimage with the Leprechauns, Embraced by Love, Manifest Your Soul’s Purpose, Decoding Your Destiny and Take Your Soul to Work.
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