We are always researching things to help us be a better us. When we find things we like, we realizes that out there in our multiverse, some of you may be going through the same stuff. We post our finds like shared treasure to help you as well. This is a bit lengthy, but it hit home with me.
You want to be alone all the time or around others all the time (to escape yourself)
The more signs you can relate to, the more you need to do inner work. We’ll explore some inner work paths below.
Of course, keep in mind that many of the above red-flags are symptoms of mental illness. By all means, seek out a professional therapist who can help if you suspect something is lopsided in your noggin. Inner work is not a replacement for any psychiatric/psychological targeted help. It is, however, a vital complementary practice that is just as essential as sleeping, exercising or anything that does you genuine good at a core level.
Why Most People Are Terrified By Inner Work
It may sound ridiculous. But the truth is that people feel repelled and horrified by inner work on an unconscious level.
Why and how is this the case?
Well just look at the world. We’ve explored the solar system and distant galaxies more than the depths of our own oceans. We know more about how things mechanically work rather than the life force that animates them. We know more about fighting and strategizing against the “enemies” outside of us than we know about facing the enemies looming within us.
As psychologist Carl Jung once wrote:
People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls.
The reality is that going deep terrifies us. We will more readily go to war and annihilate other people than look within ourselves for the source of our own suffering. We will more readily point the finger of blame at others, life, god or reality and adopt the victim mentality than dare to give ourselves a good honest look in the mirror. In some cases, we prefer to die in stubborn ignorance than admit we’re wrong, faulty, fooled, or responsible for our suffering and the pain of others.
Our egos are fragile, neurotic, and power-hungry little creatures. Inner work is like kryptonite to this fabricated self we carry around. Is it any wonder that we’re horrified by it deep down?
Of course, many seekers who have undergone a spiritual awakening would give a sly smile at this point and say, “well I am different.” Well no, no you’re not. Sorry to be frank. But you have an ego like everyone else.
The Unfathomable Power of Inner Work
Inner work may superficially look lavish, poetic, and mystical. But when you get into the heart of it, it’s a bone-crushing, gut-wrenching journey of blood, sweat, vomit, and tears.
You aren’t playing with crystals and singing cute mantras while doing inner work (although those things can be complementary and help in their own way). Inner work isn’t Instagram-worthy or something you can wear as an egotistical badge of superiority.
Inner work, in its very essence, is about placing truth and the desire for freedom (Love) above all else. It’s about allowing yourself to be called out, torn down, burned, and built back up a thousand times over. Inner work is a process of eternal death and rebirth. It never stops – even after having attained a higher level of consciousness – for when one believes one has “arrived” that is when stagnation occurs. That is when spiritual narcissism thrives and the shadow rears its ugly face.
Inner work is symbolized as the dance of Shiva and Shakti, the ouroboros snake that eats its own tale, the cycle of life and death, the yin and yang, the primordial dance of the void that is both everything and nothing at the same time.
When we give ourselves over to inner work we are on a quest to embrace the paradox of existence, to walk in the liminal spaces, to be both willing to die and be reborn in any moment, to step into all that we can become, to face our most gruesome shadows, to embody our most divine light, to experience Oneness.
To put it almost prosaically, it’s a hell of a ride!
And understandably, people fear that. It’s much easier to live a mediocre existence. It’s much easier to walk the path others have paved before us. It’s much easier to point the finger at others and neglect taking self-responsibility.
Walking the path less traveled is much more difficult, much less comfortable, and much more demanding. And most people are NOT ready or willing to make that choice. Mediocrity and complacency do provide a morsel of comfort, but it is this comfort that ironically leads to emptiness, soul loss, and the complete deprivation of anything truly real, truly worth living for.
In essence, the path of mediocrity and complacency = death.
The path of existential challenge = life.
Now, there are ways of making the existentially tumultuous path that is inner work more bearable. Connecting with your deeper source of power, your inner free spirit, and your wild Wolf essence, is the first. When you are able to follow your instinct and intuition, see clearly, make wise choices, and protect yourself from those who seek to prey on you, the path becomes more defined. Incidentally, this website is about helping you to reconnect with that wild essence (start here if you need a place to begin).
There are many other ways to empower your inner work path that are too numerous for this article, but your inner work doesn’t have to be a terrible ordeal. Remember that no matter how painful it feels, “the phoenix always emerges from the flames.” In other words, no matter how bad it feels, the pain is a catalyst for deep spiritual transformation.
Finally, I want you to understand that the nature of the ego means it will always be against inner work. It is your soul that drives you towards inner work, so you’d do well to learn how to distinguish between the voice of fear (the ego) and the voice of your intuition (the soul). See our article on How to Trust Your Intuition for more guidance.