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Personal growth and the unavoidable perils of living May 26, 2017

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Concept of personal growth.
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Sometimes in our ongoing quest for the ideal life in our personal development and self-actualization efforts it can seem like we are too often going uphill, running into obstacles, stumbling, and making little progress.

We encounter failures and mistakes; emotional “ups and downs” – some of them severe – all of which might make us feel as though our self-improvement efforts are not on the right path.

In the resulting moods of self-doubt, we seriously question ourselves and our capabilities.

However, consider this comment from psychologist/psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung:

“When one follows the path of individuation (1), when one lives one’s own life, one must take mistakes into the bargain; life would not be complete without them. There is no guarantee – not for a single moment – that we will not fall into error and stumble into deadly peril. We may think there is a sure road. But that would be the road of death…Anyone who takes this sure road is as good as dead.” (2)

Jung, who personally went through a period of intense mental and emotional upheaval and stress, which he sometimes referred to as his “illness”, also noted:

“I have also realized that one must accept the thoughts go on within oneself of their own accord as part of one’s reality …the presence of thoughts is more important than our subjective judgement of them. But neither must these judgements be suppressed, for they are also existent thoughts which are part of our wholeness.” (3)

(1) In Jungian psychology, also called analytical psychology, individuation is the process in which the individual self develops out of an undifferentiated unconscious – seen as a developmental psychic process during which innate elements of personality, the components of the immature psyche, and the experiences of the person’s life become, if the process is more or less successful, integrated over time into a well-functioning whole. [Source of definition: Wikipedia]

(2) Carl Jung from his posthumously published biography, Memories Dreams, Reflections

(3) Memories, Dreams, Reflections

— Dennis Mellersh