Monday, November 25, 2013

Transformation: Breakdown to Breakthrough Part IV

I ask you to consider that the reality of what we might experience as a “breakdown” might actually be a breakthrough. Let me explain. Many of our responses to current situations were initially developed with the limited physical and cognitive resources of a very young child; they were developed at a time in life when our perceptions, understanding of the world and internal and external resources were highly limited. For a while, these responses served to get our needs met for the most part, as well as to keep us out of many uncomfortable circumstances. Over time, however, our world expanded in variety and complexity, while our limited historical responses were created to move through a very different set of challenges.

Are you with me thus far? Consider the possibility that what we often call a breakdown might simply be our inner wisdom recognizing that it’s time to utilize our expanded adult resources to generate new and improved responses. In other words, a breakdown can actually be a breakthrough in our perceptions, meaning we attribute to experience, capacity to adapt and create with expanded resources and especially in our resilience. One of my favorite Zen stories sums up my thoughts for today around breakthroughs. 

One day a young Buddhist on his journey home came to the banks of a wide river. Staring hopelessly at the great obstacle in front of him, he pondered for hours on just how to cross such a wide barrier. Just as he was about to give up his pursuit to continue his journey he saw a great teacher on the other side of the river. The young Buddhist yells over to the teacher, “Oh wise one, can you tell me how to get to the other side of this river”? The teacher ponders for a moment looks up and down the river and yells back, “My son, you are on the other side”.


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