Crisis: Opportunity for Success
There is a law that rules our whole life: the law of balance and, in particular, the law of balance between giving and receiving.
Good giving is matched by good receiving. We refer to giving as ‘working’; we refer to receiving as ‘success’.
When we start realising that the results we expected are not coming, is when we enter into crisis.
A crisis is declared when something from the past interferes in our moving forward. Therefore, every crisis is an opportunity for liberation and change. Even more, is it possible to prosper without the constant thrust of a crisis or need for self-actualisation?
A crisis is a crisis of values.
Morality, the loyalty to our values and principles, is always a movement toward death, a moving to less, because they distance us from those who do not share them, and above all, because they make us feel better than them, so we despise them and deep down we wish they disappear: ‘everything would be much easier if… everyone was like me’. Our values kill love in us. They are deadly weapons. And all they are is a link with the past; they prevent change, creativity, or the capacity to adapt to the present.
Values are great loyalties to the past. Because of them, life has been able to repeat itself from generation to generation, as an image of itself. Every time we do something right, we tend to repeat it, and we gradually create justifications, principles and norms for it to keep working equally well, forgetting that the basis for that previous success was our perfect adjustment to the Present and what it demanded from us.
When our values and habits take us to the verge of death, a crisis erupts as the only solution for survival, forcing us to see these loyalties in order to let them go.
We are born fused with the family morals. The latter lead all the emotions and behaviours of the child without the slightest freedom or possibility to become aware of it on his part.
On growing up, we start becoming consciously attached to one of the family morals, creating a conscious set of values for ourselves. As we mature, only some people manage to leave these values behind, opening up to the present, to creativity and to all living beings just as they are, each with its own peculiarities, nor better nor worse.
Values, both the explicit and implicit ones, whether we like it or not, are born as a consequence of a family or social myth created by a powerful ancestor who needed to hide some hurt he caused. That ancestor is a perpetrator with a saint’s face who used his power to impose and transmit a statement that protected him (such as ‘the lazy are despicable’, for instance, in order to avoid his responsibility for the death of some workers to whom he did not wish to pay fairly). The following generations will then follow this statement blindly out of respect for such ‘deserving’ ancestor.
The more loyal we are to a principle, the more tied we are to the past, to that perpetrator with a saint’s face, and the more maladjusted to the present.
We are born into a sea of values and any growth requires stepping out of that paralysing bath.
Eventually, we realise of the mismatch between what was and what is, and we feel unsatisfied. We see that life calls us, that projects, yearnings and change come into sight and we wish with all our might that change, our future, becomes part of our today.
The strength of this desire will happily create the crisis: I realise that change will not come to me, but that I have to go towards it. Values are fixed, anchored in the past, they cannot move and we will have to go on our own towards change, without the beliefs and values that we have been accumulating in our last stage. Change is not compatible with values. It is time to choose and let go: Values, or change.
That is the purpose of all crisis, to bring about an awareness of how out of phase our values and habits are.
Everything is energy, we are energy. But energy does not have a continuous flow, it is triggered when a negative phase evens out with a positive phase, and vice versa. We are an energy field that works like a U shaped magnet. This magnet has a pole with a positive charge and another one with a negative charge, and the magnetic field of the magnet exists thanks to those two polarities. It is the same in our lives. We are in our strength, we are energy, every time we balance light with shadow. Our shadow is as necessary and beneficial as our light.
And how do we balance them? Joining them together. Saying yes to both, while we experience them. I take responsibility for my happiness, regardless of the misfortunes. I take my shadow into my heart. I say thanks to it for being here. I accept learning something from it.
We become charged with energy every time we say Yes, and more so when we get to say Thanks. Yes and thanks to what? To life as it is. Being grateful for life the way it is, with its burdens and its pain, transforms everything. The burdens and the pain become opportunities for serving and growing, and life becomes easier, since it will start thanking us for our service; success will start showing up. When we say yes and thanks to life as it is, we enter into a spiritual dimension, and with this I mean a dimension in which we abandon ourselves to the movement of the spirit, allowing it to direct our lives.
The movement of the spirit unfolds in the crisis, lavishing its strength and love on he who wants to see and change.
Success, what does it mean?
If we grab onto the success we have reached, or if we only care for the success yearned, we are forgetting the first part of the equation, to give, and success slips from our hands or never comes.
Our gratitude towards life as it is, moves us to serve it with all our might, abilities and love. ‘Work is life in action. To live is to serve, to live is to work, since working is actively serving. We work as we live’ (Bert Hellinger). This is the part that pertains to us. Then our surroundings, society, the world, compensate us with its acknowledgement. If the awaited success does not come, it is not my boss’s fault, my clients’ fault, politicians’ fault or any one else’s: the ‘no success’ is in me.
‘There are only two movements: a going with life and a going with death. What is not more, is less. More, moves with life; less moves towards death. The new, the change, moves with life; routine moves towards death.
Work creates life. Work is more.’
The lack of success tells me that I am not moving with life, that I am not giving what I could give, that something of mine or from my system interferes with my ability to be present and to give.
When we surrender to what is, to who we are, just as is, by default we surrender to those who made us the way we are: our parents. We take our parents unconditionally, just the way they are, with love and gratitude whatever has happened.
As soon as we say yes to what is, we give up on our values, our illusions, the programmed future we had dreamed of with a series of images from the past. Then we do move towards more, towards life as it is and, without realising, success comes. Success, like everything, will need our yes and thanks, but if we fall into the temptation of grabbing onto it, goodbye success… What pertains to us is to grab on to change, to working and to the yes.
In the Systemic approach we observe that accidents, crisis, illnesses or mishaps of any kind have a very clear function: to show something that needs to be acknowledged. Even more, the system has reached such a level of imbalance that it will not allow any individual to continue with their individual life until that ‘something’ is integrated.
Difficulties emerge with the purpose of emphasising something that remains unfinished, something that has not been assumed by any of the people involved in the conflict nor by their family systems.
The crisis serves as the rear view mirror of a situation that we find difficult to acknowledge and thus remains unfinished.
Every unresolved crisis comes back again and again, more acutely every time, until the change the system needs is accomplished. And it may take generations to achieve this goal.
One other fundamental element to reflect upon is this reality: every individual is first of all in the service of his species, the species’ fate takes precedence over the individual’s fate. What are the consequences of this for us today?
The current Crisis, the global Crisis, is also a crisis of values that serves the growth of the whole of humanity. It asks to be acknowledged and honoured as the priority need for every human being today.
I repeat what I have stated before, to apply it to the Crisis: when our values take us to the verge of death, the crisis erupts as the only solution for survival, forcing us to see these loyalties to let them go. It is the survival of humanity what is at stake.
First, we must feel participants in this Crisis, without fearing it nor denying it, but rather looking at it with respect, as sent by the spirit. And then we need to flow with it, with the change of paradigm, with a different life –nor better nor worse, just different-, with the Yes and with thanks. Then we will be able to devote ourselves to our individual life, also from the yes and with thanks, walking actively toward our internal change. This walk toward more life brings forth increasingly faster changes, not to say immediate. New doors open. Joy, actualisation, opportunities, acknowledgement, abundance, pour in as soon as we open up to the change.
May you be happy!
Published in Universo Holístico, November 2009
Brigitte Champetier de Ribes
Director at Instituto de Constelaciones Familiares (Family Constellations Institute).