The feeling that your life is coming undone is the call to awakening that begins an initiation. The call can take many forms: illness or accident, betrayal by a spouse, the death of a loved one, an urge to enter psychotherapy or to begin a period of self-examination, the recognition of an unhealthy situation or relationship. This is an opportunity to transcend the lament "Why is this happening to me?" and to seek a greater purpose behind the crisis. During this acute phase you'll most likely experience a klesha called asmita, which is a disruption of the ego, or sense of "I am," and a tendency to cling to old definitions of Self: the Provider, the Responsible One, the Caretaker, the Black Sheep, the Boss, the Martyr, and so on. When you answer the call to awakening, you leave behind, at least for a while, this familiar territory and may feel unmoored.
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