Hitting Rock-Bottom and a New You

Rock-bottom: we all have times when we hit rock-bottom, and we feel like everything is falling apart. It’s during these moments that we’re forced to not only confront our deepest habits and fears and to re-evaluate our priorities and lives, but also step towards the New Self that we’ve been becoming.

In the words of Joseph Campbell,

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.

What if hitting rock-bottom isn’t the end of the road, but rather the beginning towards more awakened consciousness and a new lease on Life? A New You?

The concept of hitting rock-bottom and awakening to a higher consciousness is one that has been explored by many spiritual traditions throughout history. Whether it’s the hero’s journey in mythology and our most treasured movies and literature, or the concept of rebirth in Hinduism and Buddhism, the idea is that we first experience challenges and the darkness of endings before we emerge into the light of new beginnings and awareness.

At its core, hitting rock-bottom is an opportunity for us to recognize and let go of the habits, circumstances and patterns that we have outgrown and that may even be hurting us… and to embrace a new way of being. It’s a chance for us to confront our deepest selves and fears, whatever these may be, and to tap into a source of truth, creativity, freedom, resilience and power that we may not have even known existed or thought possible.

First, we are called to embrace where we are at. Instead of running away from our pain and discomfort, we serve ourselves best by leaning into these and allowing ourselves to fully acknowledge and experience them.

Embracing rather than avoiding ourselves requires a tremendous amount of courage and vulnerability. We have fears
of kinds, conditioning, addictions to habits, and parts of ourselves that we don’t like or want to acknowledge, but it’s essential that we look at these honestly, without judgment or condemnation….so that we can grow.

What can we learn?

What have we outgrown?

What are the beliefs that hold us back?

What patterns do we see repeating in our lives?

What circumstances in our lives no longer support us?

When we’re able to see our pain or contrasting circumstances as teachers, supporting us to leave what is outdated, we can start to shift our perspective and approach the process with curiosity, openness and an empowered choice to surrender and flow with change, rather than resist. We more willingly let go of the things that no longer serve us and trust that something greater is at work. (And yes, this is often easier said than done for us all, but it’s critical if we want to move forward, rather than regress to the past and any short-term comforts there.)

As we move through this process, we may feel a sense of isolation and disconnection from the world around us. Our usual distractions, people and activities may not be there, or hold no interest for us. This is because becoming someone New, and the focus is on transformation, rather than things staying the same.

On fully emerging from the discomfort and darkness, we are transformed. We have a newfound wisdom that we can bring back into our lives and out into the world. We are more compassionate because of what we’ve undergone, more empathetic because we have deeper understanding, and more connected to ourselves and others in a shared humanity.

If you find yourself at rock-bottom, know that you’re not alone. It’s an integral key to being fully human and to ever-evolving throughout the course of our lives.

The thing is, what is the cost to our health, happiness, prosperity, relationships and more when we remain in denial or choose to do nothing or go only part-way, painfully stuck between the past and the future, and never quite going all the way?

In the end, hitting rock-bottom is the catalyst for our growth and transformation. By embracing the pain as if we purposefully chose it, facing our shadows, and emerging transformed, we can awaken to a new level of consciousness and live a more purposeful and meaningful life.

We become a New You and in the spirit of Joseph Campbell’s work, the heroines and heroes of our own stories.

(c) Fatima Bacot All rights reserved.