When a major shift happens you can do one of two things, you can fight it or embrace it. A major shift is a disruption and it forces a reaction. We as humans are resilient. We are not some fragile piece of glass. Resilience is built right into our DNA. We as a human race have bounce back from disruptions and major shifts several times in our history. The press will have you believing we are fragile. Because we are so resilient major shifts have brought on radical innovation.
When we are comfortable and things are going well there is no innovation. There is no incentive to innovate because we think “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. In my youth I always wanted to ‘soup up’ my Mustang and my dad used to tell me all the time, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. Yes it got me a lot of speeding tickets, but it also got me to teach myself how to work on cars and today I do my own work on my cars. The world had gotten set in its ways because everyone was comfortable. Human nature wants to only focus on the things that are broken. They don’t want to improve things. We crave order. When you get comfortable you get lazy. If you think your business is perfect you will not try to improve it. Too many people thought the world was perfect.
Major shifts should be welcomed. I know we humans hate change, but we should welcome change. Major shifts can not be planned for. It is always something that takes us by surprise. The one thing we can do is embrace the shift. Stop clinging to your dying ways or beliefs. We are witnessing a death and resurrection. Unless you have gone through this in your life before you are fighting it or you are scared to death of it. What immediately happens is people will tell you what’s coming. I find it funny how when major shifts happen people use it to reinforce the narrative they want to happen. People will tell us our normal is over and to accept the new normal. Their new normal is doom and gloom. I will let you in on a little secret. They don’t know what it going to happen! They are just telling you what they wish would happen.
In a rapidly changing world, by definition there are no maps or models. The reason people can not tell you exactly what is going to happen is because we as humans, nature, the universe, the force or whatever you want to call it are dynamic. For every action there is an equal reaction, for every yin there is a yang and the pendulum swings both ways! People will have a map or model about what is going to happen but those are static. Even if they are on a computer they are static. The world is dynamic. You can have a strategy or prediction, but as soon as you deploy it the world or nature responds to them and adapts. Only a fool will try to make a model or map of the future and think it will be reliable. Evolution happens because of major shifts. Nothing ever happens the way you plan it.
A major shift can be seen as a crisis or a disruption. Rapid change in our life is disorienting. Our identity is built on the patterns of our life. Ultimately it is our identity that we are scared of losing. This virus is a shift we did not see coming, but like every other shift it was bound to happen. Every shift in our history has caused transformation, innovation and evolution. This one will be no different. It is what has happened in our world since the beginning of time. This is the human story. Embrace it. If you can not let your old self die, you can not be reborn.
Sometimes life brings us radical changes and when that happens we have to have a psychological rebirth. Modern psychology is going to have to give psychological rebirth more attention now. Rebirth is one of the most common themes of mythology. The stories have the hero or heroine overcome challenges only to be reborn into a different character. What a lot of these myths have in common are a sacrifice. The rebirth is granted to the person who appeases the gods. Jung wrote:
“Sacrifice always means the renunciation of a valuable part of oneself, and through it the sacrificer escapes being devoured.”
The sacrifice is the difficult but necessary step of abandoning a part of ourself to make room for the new. The sacrifice is critical in the process of rebirth because the inability to recognize the ways of life that served us in our past will not serve us anymore in the future and will cause us a lot of pain and suffering. Again, we take these texts literally and people have sacrificed poor animals and humans just because they didn’t understand what the text was trying to say. A sacrifice can be as simple as the ending of a relationship, leaving a dead end job or breaking a habit. A sacrifice is never easy if it helps bring on a rebirth or resurrection. As Nietzsche wrote:
“…the snake that can not shed its skin perishes.”
If you can not break with the worn out ways of the past, you will stagnate and perish. Being willing to change leads to higher forms of consciousness. Not willing to change leads to nervous break downs or worse.
Like the heroes and heroines of myth we must view ourselves as explorers of chaos. Not passive observers being pushed and pulled by other forces. Our world is looking for balance! Being involuntary thrown into chaos is never comfortable for anyone. Think about your ways of thinking and your beliefs. What needs to be sacrificed? What needs to be changed? If we persist in our dysfunctional old ways or remain an immovable pillar of the past then we will fall into chaos deeper. The sacrifice of your old ways will be forced upon you. Take control of the process yourself and make the sacrifice. Don’t let your ego hold you back. Come out of this resurrected.