While we are growing and maturing in life we are all at different stages of our healing. I really liked how a recent blog I read by Jason at Freetheanger.com, who writes and blogs about mental health and personal growth through his journey, puts it. We go through shifts and stages in our lives that propel us to a deeper healing and better understanding of life.
He called it the three stages of maturing. Some of us have heard of the three stages as childhood, adulthood and old age. But this reference is more about the mental stages in life that may not always be aligned with age but more with knowledge and wisdom.
Stage 1: This is the external stage where we explore and develop our lives from the outside. Our careers, friends, social groups, material possessions and how we describe and see ourselves in this form. This is the time of our lives where we are going out a lot perhaps in our mid to late 20’s when we are establishing the ideal “me” and who we are as a person, our roles, what we like and dislike, prefer and believe in. We may be thinking about marriage or may already have married and started a family. This is a mental stage of our perceptions of us and the outside world.
Stage 2: Is the inner exploration stage. It can be anywhere from 30’s-50’s. This is where we may do a deeper dive –and I say “may” because not everyone chooses to make these shifts depending on someone’s mindset to want to mature through life. This is a stage where we start to question our life and our purpose in it. We may have thought that the things we achieved in stage one will make us feel complete and happy but we feel lost and confused while continuing our search for more. We may have gone through something difficult in our life like a breakup, a divorce, an illness, a loss of a loved one, battling with addiction or something that made us want to ask deeper questions. At this point we may find ourselves searching for answers and trying to understand the bigger picture. We may do this through therapy, Yoga, or in religion to start the search within.
Stage 3: This is the understanding stage or as others may call it the spiritual awakening stage where we come to an understanding of our higher self. In this stage there are many stages –I believe 6 or 7 with the ultimate stage being of being enlighten–what Buddhist call dharma. This stage is very difficult to achieve even by those who practice Buddhism for many years. Common people like you or me that may have a daily mindfulness practice or a yogi lifestyle may enter or experience moments of enlightenment. No one can be in a constant stage of enlightenment unless you are God. So, accepting that this is a way of life and that we are imperfect humans is very important in our healing journey.
So where am I am in my healing? It’s hard to say as every day I have different experiences. I have definitely entered stage 2. I started searching for these answers 2 years ago and 6 months ago went through a big shift in life that push me to an even deeper healing. I know life, circumstances, and experiences will push me to deepen my healing and understanding through my journey in Life.
I am hopeful as I now have the tools to guide me and I know there is so much I still have to learn and experience in my life. Gaining a deeper awareness of myself and healing old wounds that stem from my childhood have brought me to an awakening of the meaning of my life. To me this is a deeper meaning of myself, who I am, who I want to be and how I want to live my life. I don’t have all the answers but I know I don’t need them all right now. The answers will come to me as God sees fit for me and the path he wants me to take. The path of least resistance, the path of highest good.