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"In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm; in the real world all rests on perseverance. "

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer & politician


By Anca Simon - submitted story on 03 June 2012

I read books and I have seen movies about that in order to gain something in life you need to lose something. Something old needs to dissolve and disappear to leave space for something new to grow. I thought I understood this until reality proved me wrong. When this happened to me in reality, I came to realize that I was far from comprehending what it means.

I had a promising career as a banker for 15 years with major international banks.
I was promoted and brought from Romania to Amsterdam being identified as “talent for leadership roles”. After I was given the responsibility to manage high level projects for the Executive Management Team of Commercial Banking, suddenly I was labeled by the organization as “persona non-grata not fit for the role assigned”.

This happened because I was forced by the organization to work for a boss with different values than mine who I did not trust. I said ‘yes’ to a situation against my will, completely ignoring to listen to my heart. This cost me my career because I did not have the courage to say “no”. I had burned myself out since I had put myself into a situation that I knew from the beginning would not work.

Do we need to suffer to awaken from unconscious living?

It seems that suffering carries great potential for awakening from unconscious living.

People often get trapped in situations or places that hold their evolution because of fear. They are often completely lost in the routine of daily life and forget completely who they really are and if what they do really expresses their true self.

My perspective on life was fully influenced by the environment where I worked. I was completely identified with the roles I was performing.
I could not see another way of attaining happiness and success at that time than only to make a career and to advance on the corporate ladder through hard work and dedication.

I started to become a stranger even to myself.
I needed to go through difficult situations to realize that I was starting to lose myself.
The burnout and the surgery I had in 2010 were the wake up call that made me realize how unconscious I was living my life.
The pain was the awakening factor that made me realize the suffering I was inflicting on myself unconsciously being led completely by my EGO.

I am grateful for this experience and the lessons it taught me. I learned to:
• Never let anybody tell me who I am and what is good or bad for me.
• Never do something if I do not believe in it and if it contradicts to my core values.
• Don’t ignore my heart and let the EGO take control of myself.

The journey of self-discovery is difficult nevertheless I have realized that it needs to be made by myself alone. I also came to realize that this takes time and dedication. Everyone’s transformation takes place at its own pace. I have learned until now that it is important to stay focused to always head in the right direction.
I feel that once I have embraced this process of evolution and change there is no way back.
Sometimes I feel that the “fear of unknown” which is conditioned and fueled by the past holds me back. The good thing is that I realize this. The meditation and yoga help me to stay in the right direction.
I learned that I need to let go of the past to give space to something new to grow.
I am grateful for the lessons the past have given me and I have come to realize that everything happens with a reason. It is up to us to be able to get the message.
We need to have faith in ourselves to be able to let go of the past and be open to the future. 
I have noticed that the freedom I experience when I lose the fear and become open to new situations or people is where all the positive change in my life emanates from.

I feel that I will be shown the way by listening to my heart. This is the place where the light lives, as a dear friend of mine is telling me.