The importance of self-awareness, self-analysis and self-help
The year of the COVID-19 pandemic was the year that changed our lives in many ways.
It stopped us, abruptly leaving us to reflect on our jobs, relationships and purpose. It put a sudden stop to a high speed train traveling at 350 km/h.
Some people felt liberated, as they could take a break from their crazy routines, toxic working relationships and stressful habits. Others felt imprisoned.
In all those circumstances, and, in some cases more acutely than others, the pandemic changed us all.
If it was a social experiment, the results were profoundly revealing.
As an entrepeneur and business owner, I had been living in a self-created tyrannical world moulded by the hands of my customers and my own mental enslavement for many years.
I wasn't aware at the time, although I was suspicious of it, of how mentally broken I had become professionally and, as a knock on effect, emotionally.
The pandemic forced me into a less physically exposed format which I appreciated as the screen protected me in many ways; I didn't have to be present all the time in my rented place, I didn't get bombarded with questions between classes and I didn't have teachers to worry about, as I was running the show on my own.
But the pandemic also confirmed what my husband and I had been suspicious of for a few years. This realisation was that we had become:
- A parking lot for children
- A meeting centre for teenagers
- A cathartic way for parents to solve their personal language traumas
The confinement removed the veil, revealing our students' real faces.
It was like a freak show where all the masks were off and where the last girl either dies or turns into the worst nightmare of the serial killer.
Noticing that I had become the final girl of my own horror movie, living my worst nightmare, felt like a bucket of cold water over my head. And through this nightmare I had to continue pretending I cared about a business and customer profile highly toxic for me.
Although this realisation killed me inside, I continued to put a lot of pressure on myself. I kept teaching English as a second language online, bending backwards to please the demands of the few students that I had left, while in the meantime, trying to break the vicious circle with a new project.
That's how I started plotting towards taking my passion for Gothic literature to the next level and turn it nto a profitable business, which added a lot of extra internal and external pressure.
Despite all the efforts, I couldn't achieve economic freedom even after hours invested both in my old job and my future one due to family dynamics, illnesses and lack of adequate professional guidance.
My self esteem was deeply harmed as I depended on others to pay my bills, to feed and dress my little family and to give them some kind of normality within the abnormality of the global and personal situation.
The day I realised helping others with their language problems wasn't rewarding at a deep level anymore was the day I also realised that it was time to rescue myself .
Castiel in season 7 after messing up with the Leviathans
THE ANSWER IS INSIDE OF YOU
Your painful life processes become your very own road to self-recognition, self-analysis and especially self-awareness.
Knowing who you were, who you have become and who you want to be is crucial during times of transition. But it requires profound inner work.
For me the answers were in figuring out why revisiting my private Gothic space gave me so much comfort from my passion for the English language, and what that was telling me about my new desires.
All I truly wanted was to continue working and learning about those things I loved the most while enlighening others in their life transitions in both their professional and personal spaces.
Investigating the neuroscience behind second language acquisition, had already been one of the major taks I had been undertaking throughout the years as an English philologist, so understanding the structure of our psyche was the next obvious step.
Despite my efforts trying to avoid treading in a field I wasn't qualified for, I couldn't escape the clear connections between Junguian psychology and Gothic literature.
Soon I came to the realisation I had become an independent academic researcher on the Gothic and a new disciple of Jungian psychology.
This combo is what has been keeping me sane and what is helping me reconnect with myself, which as a knock-on effect helps me reconnect with others who are also in some kind of transitions.
This reconnection is based on three main pillars:
Creating self-awareness, finding different paths to self-analysis and designing personalised strategies for self-help.
If you are interested in learning more about Gothic Literature, the Gothic Mode and its connection with Jungian Psychology, don't miss my monthly magazine: You Are Gothic But You Don't Know It.
HOW MY EXPERIENCE CAN HELP YOU
Self-awareness, self-analysis and self-help is what we all do unconsciously when we are forced to stop, but we are not always concious about it.
In moments of crisis, some feel the need to rethink their lives, change their mental pathways and do things differently by getting out of their comfort zone.
Unknowingly, the aim is to find solutions that align better with the soul (understanding soul in the Junguian term, as that profound, personal and deep call or drive to become something or someone different from what or who you are now).
Sometimes we do this more or less successfully. More often than not, to move on means to ask for help through a coach, a therapist, learning something new, implementing new routines and habits, talking to others, listening to podcasts, reading books of your interest, etc...
If you have paid attention to my process, you would have noticed the frustation, the limiting beliefs I had regarding what I should / shouldn't do, could or couldn't do and all the stories I was telling myself.
That little voice inside your head is a little tyrant!
I wasn't seeing my clients for who they were, I was in denial, I was in my own little world believing they could understand what I was trying to do to help them and that they could empathise with my struggles to help them through a difficult economic time for all. I was a bit self-centred, if you think about it, as I also wanted them to be grateful for all my efforts. I wanted from them empathy, recognition and understanding.
I obviously had some serious thinking to do.
The balance I was asking for wasn't in them, or in what they could give me, neither economically or emotionally. The balance was in me, in listening to all the synchronous signs, in talking to my Shadow and to design the life I really wanted for me and my family based on my true calling.
It was in my hands to change things and it is also in your hands to change your situation taking little steps at a time. You cannot stop the external factors, but you can change how you perceive them.
You need to decide if you want to fight the monsters out there without having worked out why that fight is so important to you, or you can start analysing what the monsters in your head are telling you instead.
You'll be surprised of what you can learn.
The journey to self-discovery is fluid and constant once you embrace it. It shouldn't be seen as lineal, but rather circular or loopy, as we are constanly in renewal.
We flow with the seasons, with our body clocks and our external experiences. Becoming obsessed with what should be, but isn't, can blind your criteria.
Your awareness is your best gift to become an improved version of yourself, but you have to listen carefully, know which archetype is guiding your psyche and accept its positive and negative characteristics equally.
Once you start setting in motion your awareness you will be able to find new solutions, and only when you find new solutions will you be able to save yourself, your clients and everybody that interacts with you.
Happy new you!
Thanks for reading,
Until the next entry!
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