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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Giving Birth To Yourself



Erich Fromm, psychoanalyst and author of The Art of Loving among many other books, wrote: A person's main task in life is to give birth to oneself.

Giving birth to yourself can happen at any age. You could be in your 70's, you could be a teenager, you might be in your mid-thirties: it makes no difference, you can make this exhilarating change in your life at any time.

Why is it exhilarating? It has to do with you finding the real you...the one that was meant to be...the one that senses a true meaning and purpose in his or her life...and the one that will bring you to greater levels of joy, fulfillment, and happiness than any other aspect of you, barring none.

When we begin to look at our lives (and again, let me insist that this is not a question of age), from the point of view of growth and purpose; when we realize that we are here for more than the accumulation of honor, prestige, money, and things, much as those are all perfectly valid elements of a good life, then we begin to know that there is another way of looking at how we can continue to develop, that has much more to do with the eternal validity of our souls than with anything else.

We begin to become interested in our own inner life - not in a selfish fashion, not born of our ego - because this inner life is precisely what can most clearly point the way towards our own birth. The fact that our intution is hugely involved in this process, should surprise no one. You may have heard of the fact that scientists now refer to our second and third brains (see also my May 2006 Newsletter about this subject), with regards to the billions of neural cells they now know we have in our gut (intestine) and heart, respectively. These neural cells offer intelligent information of another kind to our being, so that in conjunction with the logical information we receive via the neural cells in our brain, we also receive intuitive and emotional information from the neural cells in our gut and heart respectively. Together, the three types of information - if we will but use them in conjunction - allow us to make choices that are much more informed than those that originate merely from our rational brain.

Our intuitive intelligence has much to offer us. It can speak to us in the language of our innermost self ... of that part of us that is not only the part that is visible to the naked eye, the part that others can see, but also of that innermost part of us that has always existed, and that will always be. To understand its language is to understand how we can give birth to ourselves. Hence, learning to listen to our intution is of utmost importance, and one of the best ways to do so, is to begin to allow our hunches to lead us. (Also see the brief post about Gert Gigerenzer's new book about the subject: Intuition Has Great Value After All!).

Listening to our intuition can be fomented by spending some time alone, by meditating, by taking solitary walks, but above all, also by allowing the little voice inside of you, when it comes up and nudges you about something, to be heard. In other words, don't just ignore it, don't just tell yourself that whatever it was that you just thought had no value, and that therefore you will not pay any attention. Do something about it. Or notice if right after, something happens, as in: I just thought of Aunt Mabel and two minutes later she rings me. While this type of example is minimally important, it does allow you to begin the process of better understanding the role of intuition in your life.

Extrapolating that to today's topic of giving birth to yourself, it is precisely from this sector of your being that you will get the greatest amount of vital information about where to go and what to do in order to expedite your birth.

How do we find meaning in our lives? One of the easiest ways is to listen with your inner ear to your bodily reactions to anything. Notice especially a sense of excitement in your solar plexus, an increased rhythm of breathing, heightened facial color and body temperature, as you hear a conversation, listen to something on the radio, watch a documentary on TV, because your body is giving you information about the importance of the particular subject in question to you and your true purpose in life (see also my June 2006 Newsletter: Finding a Meaning For Your Life). This inner listening is totally connected to your intution, and it is another way of strengthening the inner dialogue in order to give birth to yourself.


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