The Jonah Complex

More than any other kind of knowledge we fear knowledge of ourselves, knowledge that might transform our self-esteem and our self-image…While human beings love knowledge and seek it – they also fear it.
~Abraham Maslow

Abraham Maslow was a brilliant psychologist who is most famous for the human hierarchy of needs he created, referred to as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, or Maslow’s Pyramid.  The foundation for this theory lies in the premise that humans are ultimately seeking self-actualization, or in other words, reaching our full potential.  We must have our basic needs met, such as food, shelter, safety, being loved and having self-esteem before this can be accomplished.

For those who are unaware of the story of Jonah in the Bible, Jonah was asked by God to go to the city of Nineveh to warn the people there that if they did not change their ways, destruction would follow.  Jonah, fearful of his destiny, chose to go to a city named Tarshish instead.  On his way to Tarshish, God sent a storm after him which alerted the others on the ship that Jonah was a danger so they threw him overboard.  Jonah was then swallowed by a whale and spent three days in the belly of that whale.  Upon being spit out by the whale, Jonah went on to fulfill his destiny.

The Jonah Complex refers to the fear of our own greatness…the fear of success.  We all have a destiny – a unique reason we were brought here to earth at this time that only we can fulfill.  Reaching our potential is up to us.  We must learn to look at life and ask questions such as, “What am I supposed to learn from this situation/person?”  The storms in our life are not punishments by God.  They are not karmic situations happening to balance the scale.  They are signs from above telling us we are no longer on our path.  How else can God get the attention of humans who have a hard time believing what they cannot see?  My own illness 10 years ago was just that…a sign that I was not on my path.  God does not wish harm upon us, we allow things in our lives to happen (some of which are pre-scripted) to give us yet another opportunity to learn something about ourselves.

You are the only one who can choose what path you walk.  Watch your environment, look into your life and see if there is a pattern in the things that have happened to you and instead of asking, “Why did this happen to me?” ask “What is it that I am not seeing?”  ”What do I need to learn to get back on my path…to get back to a state of joy?”  Please show me the way.

Marianne Williamson states the Jonah Complex the best:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us…and as we decide to let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Forging ahead on my path,



Choosing the Life You Were Born to Live:  How Changing Your Thoughts Will Change Your Life” by Chris Sopa published by Balboa Press.

Click here to purchase your copy today!




Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at Find her at, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .

The Purpose of Pain

Until the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing, you will stay the same.”

The pain was unbearable.  It didn’t seem to matter which way I moved to try to get some relief, it persisted and was gut wrenching.  I had it for going on 5 days and no one knew what was wrong with me.  Lower left abdomen pain that sent a burning sensation down my left leg could not be diagnosed with any of the fancy equipment hospitals have at their disposal.  A laparoscopy from my GYN was the only answer.  “I have to get in there and see what is going on” was all she said.  A burst ovarian cyst and a bad ovary was the presumed diagnosis so she was ready to remove my ovary if needed.  But my body had a different plan.  Once the scope found the source of the pain it was as if my body had played a cruel joke on everyone.   Situs inversus, a congenital condition in which the major visceral organs are reversed, was the culprit, placing my appendix on the left side of my body.  An already septic and leaking appendix was removed and my pain was gone.

My appendix was the first thing that popped into my mind when I first started having pain, but my brain talked me out of that answer.  Your appendix is on the right side of your body, not the left so why would it be my appendix?  Things aren’t always what they seem.

Physical pain has a purpose.  It points us to a part of our body that needs healing.  The pain tells us that it needs attention.  Something needs to be changed to bring our body back into balance.  Emotional pain has the same purpose.  The pain we feel, which can come in the form of resistance, defensiveness, anger, sadness, etc., points to a place that needs our attention; that needs healing.  Sometimes the place in which the pain points is the only the door that leads you to where the real pain finds its true home.

Yesterday’s blog on what men should know about women brought up  pain for some people.  Although written in tongue and cheek on purpose, it may have brought up some emotions.  Where did you get angry, defensive or upset?  Which one brought up “pain” in you?  Agreeing with the list was not the purpose.  We all have a different “list” and want different things based on our experiences.  The purpose was to get you thinking about your list.  What do you want in a mate?  What pain do you have around relationships that may still need some healing so you can have a beautiful relationship with someone?

Everything that happens in your life happens for a reason: every person you meet, every painful event, every happy event, everything! Everything you experience is a chance for you to get closer to God—a chance to learn something new about yourself and how you function in the world around you. Learn to see pain as a blessing – a red flag showing you where you need to change or release something you no longer need in your life. Engage the lessons life is trying to teach you. Look at your life … where is the pain and what is it asking you to look at or change?

The most beautiful part of pain is that when you learn your lesson, the pain goes away. The worst part is that if you choose not to learn the lesson when the pain arrives, it will come back. And because you did not listen or may not have been ready the first time, the pain increases each go around … and keeps increasing until you finally learn the lesson. How else can your attention be grabbed if not through pain? Think about the greatest lessons you have learned in your life so far—the ones that have stuck with you and changed you forever. I’m willing to bet you suffered some kind of pain to learn that lesson so hard.

The best way to deal with pain is when it comes up to let it come up, terror and all.  Take a breath, close your eyes and allow yourself to feel what is coming up with no judgments.  You are safe.  Nothing can hurt you.  Your mind plays tricks on you because your lower self does not want you to evolve.  It wants you to stay small.  Your higher self knows better.  It is the one calling the pain up to be released so you can be free.  Talk to a trusted friend, do something that makes you feel good, and let it go.

Surrender to what is. Be where you are in mind, body and spirit and say yes to life—pain and all!  Then, life will work for you and not against you. It is always much easier to go with the flow of energy than against it. Remember, no matter how bad life seems today, we always get a second chance tomorrow.

“Sometimes it is that which shatters us that liberates us.” ~ Marianne Williamson

Peeling back the layers of pain,


Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at Find her at, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .

But I Don’t Wanna!!!

When a thought hurts, that is the signal that it isn’t true.” ~Byron Katie

Relationships have not always been my strong suite.  Relationships with men, that is.  Every other area of my life is amazing; my girls refer to me as “their best friend,” I have a career I absolutely love that takes me all over the world, I get the privilege in this lifetime to be a part of changing people’s lives for the good, I have plenty of money to meet my needs … I could go on and on.  Did all of this come easy to me?  No.  It took hard work and the willingness to take many risks, not knowing how each risk would turn out.

As I have learned over the years, the Universe has a funny way of putting right in your face the exact situations you need.  Whatever you need is always exactly what you get.  It’s true.  So, what did I get in regards to “relationships?”  The offer to be one of the authors in a book that will be out January of 2013 titled, “Breaking Free:  Overcoming Self-Sabotage,” published by an internationally renowned women’s network.  What did they ask me to write about?  You guessed it … relationships!

We teach what we most need to learn, so I took on the challenge.  For this entire week, I decided that I would focus on writing about different aspects of relationships.  We all have them.  We all have been hurt by them.  We all cherish them.  We all want them, whether we want to admit it or not.  The main advantage to being human is our capacity to love and be loved.  Will you allow love, is the question?  Why wouldn’t you allow it?   Not allowing yourself to forgive.

Forgiveness is a tricky thing. It is something we know we must do to finally let go so we can move on; yet, we hold on to hurt and blame because it somehow gives us a satisfaction we cannot explain.  We scream to our selves inside, “I don’t wanna!” like a child because for some reason we like to sit in the pain of reliving a painful circumstance and holding onto anger over and over again.  The joys of being human!

Remember that how we treat others is merely a reflection of how we treat ourselves. If you have a hard time letting go of mistakes you have made, more than likely you have a hard time letting go of mistakes others have made as well. The only way to really find peace is to let the past be the past. Keep it where it belongs.

In regards to forgiving others, Louise Hay, I think, states it the best:

“We are the ones who suffer when we hold on to past grievances. We give the situations and the people in our past power over us, and the same situations and people keep us mentally enslaved. They continue to control us when we stay stuck in “unforgiveness.” This is why forgiveness work is so important. Forgiveness – letting go of the ones who hurt us – is letting go of our identity as the one who was hurt. It allows us to be set free from the needless cycle of pain, anger, and recrimination that keep us imprisoned in our own suffering. What we forgive is not the act, but the actors – we are forgiving their suffering, confusion, unskillfullness, desperation and their humanity. As we get the feelings out and let them go, we can then move on. Remember that all of the events that take place in our lives and all of the individuals we encounter teach us valuable lessons.”

Forgiveness is a soul choice and centers in your heart. It is not a logical, mental process.  It has nothing to do with whether or not you choose to have that person stay in your life or not. You can forgive someone and choose to not have them in your life anymore or choose to have them stay … it is up to you.  Every choice you make must be for your own peace.  Never sacrifice your inner peace for someone else.  Forgiveness is an act of self-love and healing.  The reason for forgiving someone is not so much because you feel they deserve to be forgiven, but because you love yourself enough to not want to suffer anymore when you think about the person or the event. We learn to suffer just to punish whoever abused us and, in the end, we are the only ones who are hurt.

Never forget that each of us is on our own journey. We choose to play roles for each other to give each other an opportunity to learn the life lessons we came here to learn. Thank the people who have hurt you for playing their roles so well. If it wasn’t for those who have hurt us the most, we would not be the people we are today.

Start with forgiving yourself for anything you feel you have or haven’t done in the past in regards to relationships.  Do what I do.  Look in the mirror and kiss your own hand and say over and over again, “Its ok.  No worries.  You are so wonderful!”  Ok, so maybe that only works for me, but regardless, give yourself a break today.  Stop waiting for the other person to forgive you.  There is nothing outside of you that can give you what you are looking for.  The answers and peace you seek are one place and one place only … inside of YOU!

“Once we have forgiven ourselves for something, it is easier to forgive others for the same mistake.”   ~Marianne Williamson

I wanna, I wanna!


Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at Find her at, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .

“You Can’t Handle the Truth!”

Until we see what we are, we cannot take steps to become what we should be.” ~Charlotte P. Gilman

Anyone who has coached with me has heard me say over and over again, “We cannot get to where you want to go until we define where you are now.”  Many of us have goals.  We have aspirations of what type of person we would like to become, places we would like to visit, our ideal career, the amount of money we would like to have…you name it, we know for the most part where we want to be in the future.  Now, ask that same person about their present situation; how they like their job, why they have a habit of never keeping their word, why they cheat, or even as simple as how their marriage is and the answer is either a blank stare or a platitude of some sort to avoid the question.

Why is it that we avoid the truth of who we are?  Maybe its embarrassment because down deep we know we can do better or maybe it’s that we fear who we really can be if we just let go of the fear?  Either way, the only way you can move forward in life is to look straight in your own eyes, define the type of person you have allowed yourself to become (good or bad) and make a choice.  A choice to change, a choice to move on and a choice to finally live the life you were born to live.

You know what you are here to do.  Yes, you do.  It is that feeling in the pit of your gut that nags at you all day long.  That feeling that comes directly from the things you dream about that bring you joy.  The feeling that comes when you are doing that “thing” that you can do for hours, non-stop and lose all sense of time.  Stop telling yourself it is impossible, that you “can’t” because you have responsibilities, that you are too old, that you had a bad childhood, that if your parents would have been different you could, that if you weren’t in this relationship you could…STOP!  What do you want to do?  Who do you want to be? Start believing in yourself and do something about it instead of spending endless hours reading and watching others live their dreams.  How many lives do you think you have?  This is not a dress rehearsal.

Shift from Entitlement to Humility; Control to Trust; Attachment to Letting Go; Fear to Faith.

Our Deepest Fear…

is not that we are inadequate,
our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?”
Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some of us,
it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

~ Marianne Williamson

Honoring the truth,


Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at Find her at, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .