A new year often symbolizes a new beginning, with resolutions to make specific lifestyle changes related to self-improvement. Research indicates, however, that up to 88% of these resolutions fail. If changes—no matter how worthy–are imposed by ego alone, the unconscious is likely to have its say by rebelling.
Meaningful change requires the willingness to sit at the crossroads of inner conflict, steep in its mystery, and honor the opportunity for relationship rather than repression. Contemplation before action includes inner assessment of readiness, resources, and response-ability.
Sacrifice is required, external programs or people may provide support, and the goal must be aligned with purpose inspired by the Self. Jung stated that we don’t solve our problems, we grow bigger than our problems. Meaningful change and renewal occurs when we have engaged an inner conflict and thereby become more whole.
“I’m in a fortress with a tall tower and I’m participating in some kind of sacrificial ritual. I know there are other participants but I don’t see them. We have to answer a question correctly or face a painful death. I fail the test and am brought to the top of the tower for the sacrifice, which involves being cut into pieces. I run away and throw myself off the top of the tower to avoid that torture. I hit the ground and find myself back in the tower, having to throw myself over the edge again to escape the sacrifice. This happens multiple times.”