Death and re-birth

“When viewed as a whole, the Soul Transformation Process is like a death and re-birth. Commitment to completing a cycle of this process results in being ‘born again.’ This process is meant to cleanse your soul of illusions and unhealthy attachments for the purpose of awakening you to greater realities and to the truth of who you are.” ~Michael Mirdad

You're Not Going Crazy ... You're Just Waking Up!Given that today is Easter, I’ve had the whole theme of death and resurrection on my mind today, pondering how in many ways it feels like I have undergone a death and resurrection process in the year since last Easter. Then I sat down to read You’re Not Going Crazy…You’re Just Waking Up! The Five Stages of Soul Transformation Process, by Michael Mirdad, this afternoon and encountered the quote above at the opening of the first chapter. Synchronicity!

This book is a quick read (less than 100 pages of text), but it is one of those books where I wanted to highlight every word because he seems to have distilled his message down to the essentials. He claims that all of us go through this soul transformation process multiple times in our lives and that we always have the choice of doing it the easy way or the hard way. The easy way involves realizing that there is something in our lives that needs to shift and opening ourselves willing to the process. The hard way involves fighting the necessary change until our soul creates a crisis in our external lives to force us to pay attention. This kind of crisis almost always involves pain and loss and suffering as parts of our lives crumble to make room for whatever new is trying to come into being.

As usual, I apparently chose to do this the hard way. In trying to avoid dealing with some of this, I just made it harder on myself when my soul had finally had enough and demanded action. (Note to self: Try the easy way next time!)

The five stages of the soul transformation process as he lays them out are:

  1. Dismantling
  2. Emptiness
  3. Disorientation
  4. Re-building
  5. A New Life

He lumps the first three together as part of the death process, and the last two as the re-birth process.

I found his descriptions of the first three stages to be extraordinarily accurate for what I’ve experienced in the last year. The dismantling is the process of taking apart the parts of our old life that need to change—this can happen willingly or unwillingly depending on whether we are choosing the easy way or the hard way to do this. I remember well this feeling that my entire life was going up in smoke. The emptiness phase is an emotional purging that can often result in depression as we try to cope with the losses of the first stage. The disorientation phase is a mental cleansing as we re-evaluate our old thought processes, and this phase can often cause self-doubt as we no longer know what to think is true.

I recognized myself and my experience in every line of each chapter. I wish I’d had this book a year ago to help me relax into the process and to reassure me that I wasn’t actually going crazy, but I am enormously encouraged to discover that I have instinctively done so many of things that he suggests for moving through these phases. I guess my soul knew all along what it needed, and I am grateful that I was able to listen to its promptings even when it seemed to go against “common wisdom.”

I feel like I am beginning to move from the death phases into the re-building phase that starts the re-birth process. I was chagrined to read that this is a time of real risk in the process because it requires a leap of faith to make a jump to a truly new life; it can be very tempting to try to find ways to re-create a new version of the old life, which naturally will just force us back through the process until we get it right. Looking back, I can see ways that I have done this multiple times with smaller life meltdowns that led up to the rather cataclysmic meltdown I’ve had to endure this go-round, so I am profoundly grateful to have read this now to help me ensure that I do whatever is necessary to create a new life this time, not a new version of the old one in any way.

I’d like to think that arriving at my new life will mean that I am done with this process, but it’s a life-long lesson. As Mirdad puts it, “when you no longer leave tracks after walking in the mud and no longer cast a shadow while standing in the sun, only then are you done with your lessons.” However, having been through this process the hard way, I am hoping that I will now have the wisdom to listen to my inner promptings much earlier in the future so I can do this the easy way from now on.

A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a very fragile place, and it takes a good deal of vulnerability to share this personal journey of transformation so openly. Therefore, I need this to be a safe place for exploration and sharing for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight—or the expression of that experience or insight—are NOT welcome here and will be deleted.