Spiritual Awakening: Embracing This Difficult Path

spiritual 21In an effort to more accurately express all that awakening encompasses, this post has been altered from its original version, and I imagine it could be altered many more times as I further understand all the complexity that is involved when one experiences this dramatic shift.

So, what does it mean to spiritually awaken? If your experience has been similar to mine, there is no single word that can capture all that awakening entails. Sometimes you will find yourself expanding and growing, reaching significant new understandings about yourself, others, and life itself. Hopefully, you will have a few magical, mystical experiences that help open your eyes to seeing life through a new, radically different perspective. And I hate to be the one to deliver the news on this one if you aren’t already aware, but you will likely sometimes find yourself stuck in the muck of old, unresolved issues that you know you need to face if you hope to drop the weight of the past. You will hear your soul calling for you to do what is necessary to experience a major rebirth and transformation, but at first, you may feel resistance and a clinging to your old way of life because you have no clue where this path of awakening is going to lead you.

In this post, I would like to share my spiritual awakening experience so that others who are currently facing significant challenges will know they’re not the only ones struggling with this strange, sometimes beautiful, and sometimes overwhelming path of discovery. I would like to mention a couple of things before that. One, I don’t think the journey of awakening ends once you step foot on this path. There are endless ways to keep growing and shifting, so I don’t think any of us can expect to cross a finish line and be done with the process. Secondly, although I will focus on the challenges involved with awakening, I certainly don’t view awakening as a negative experience. I will dare to say that it is the most profound experience that a human can undergo.

As I have mentioned in other posts on this blog, my spiritual awakening began in April of 2014. Prior to that, I had no understanding of what it meant to be spiritual. Spirituality is something I had always lumped with religion, and religion had never filled any purpose in my life. I rejected religion from a very young age, despite the fact that I grew up in the Bible Belt. I could not convince myself to believe there was a man in the sky who would severely punish others if he was such a compassionate, loving man as others described him. I saw too much hypocrisy in all of it, so I decided what was best for me was to be an atheist and to reject anything that lacked logic and reason.

Three months prior to awakening, I experienced the loss of my brother. Then approximately a month after experiencing that loss, I became friends with someone who was very interested in spirituality. She was a bit surprised when I revealed that I was an atheist, and her comment that she thought there was a lot more to me than that baffled me. I was pretty convinced, at that time, that I would always remain an atheist and never delve into anything spiritual. So, as you might imagine, a spiritual awakening was really one of the last things I ever expected to happen to someone like me.

The awakening struck without any warning, just a couple weeks before my graduation from graduate school. Essentially, what happened is I noticed that several synchronistic events occurred within a couple of weeks. In the past, I had always been quick to assume that synchronistic events were just random coincidences that weren’t worth any attention, but there was a completely different feeling about it this time. The coincidences were coming my way so frequently and rapidly that it really caught my attention. I knew there was something strange going on, but I couldn’t name what it was at first.

After telling my boyfriend about the recent coincidences, we started recalling other strange coincidences from the past that we had failed to notice. That’s when it hit me. I started to understand that those eerie coincidences weren’t just coincidences. They were synchronicities, and it was an indication that things happen for a reason and that someone/something was trying to communicate with me through these signs I had been ignoring all my life. Once I came to those realizations, life didn’t seem so random and meaningless to me anymore. That’s the day I quit calling myself an atheist.

The next few weeks following my awakening were pretty positive. It was initially very exciting and mind-blowing to make that transition from atheist to a spiritually awakening soul. A small part of me was slightly freaked out, in a good way, because I was suddenly able to see just how magical and beautiful life really is. I was simply awestruck. I knew something special was happening, and I felt grateful for it.

After graduating, I followed my intuition that told me to take a break to overcome the stress and burnout I had experienced as a graduate student. I was also beginning to sense that I was meant to go down a different path from everyone else. I had no clue exactly what I was going to do with my future, but I no longer felt like I was meant to go down the traditional path like all my classmates. I felt my soul calling me to find a new path.

I spent the next few months trying to understand the debilitating fatigue that struck after I graduated. Instead of feeling better after a couple of months of being out of graduate school, like I had expected, I ended up feeling a million times worse once I slowed down and got away from all the stress and deadlines that I had become accustomed to during grad school. The fatigue had turned into a horrible, unwelcome visitor that I could not get rid of after I graduated.

I tried to be patient and hopeful that my energy would finally be restored, but I ended up having to visit a naturopathic doctor after suffering from constant fatigue for months. I’m still not sure if the intense fatigue was simply a symptom of stress from grad school and the experience of losing my brother two weeks prior to my last semester or also part of the spiritual awakening process, but I can say with certainty that it was the second most difficult experience I have faced up to this point. There were days when I felt so desperate and frustrated about my lack of energy that I would cry. Then after several months of nurturing myself through nutrition, gentle exercise, and efforts to minimize stress, some of my energy began to return.

Despite the overwhelming fatigue I experienced for almost an entire year after the awakening began, there were pleasant moments interspersed here and there. Specifically, I remember having some sort of out-of-body experience. I felt very ungrounded and disconnected from my physical body, as if my soul was floating somewhere out there. It was a disorienting yet beautiful experience. I felt expansive, like I was united with everyone and everything instead of feeling stuck in this little human body. At that time, when I heard others speak of unconditional love, it would move me to tears. I felt connected to everything and saw overwhelming beauty everywhere I looked.

The truth is, those feelings of expansion, freedom, and connection did not last. In my journey so far, the blissful feelings come and go. That’s what my awakening process has been all about–ups and downs. I truly don’t know what to expect from day to day, but that’s ok. Growing and shifting into a new way of being cannot always be a comfortable experience.

The biggest challenges I still face are a lack of motivation and learning how to let go of my old identity. Regarding the lack of motivation, I suspect I still have some health issues to tackle, but I also partly see it as part of the awakening process. A lot of my old goals and desires have lost their meaning as I have been discovering what really matters to me, so I am still in a place of trying to understand where I should go next during this phase in my life. Regarding the loss of my identity, I have had to encounter that downright scary feeling of not having a clue about who I am anymore. There have been days where I’ve seen myself in the mirror or in an old photograph and felt like I didn’t know who I was looking at anymore. It feels like the old me has died and existed in a completely different lifetime.

I have also had to face the reality that I have been unconsciously holding onto fear and pain for years, and I am still in the process of working through some of those old issues. Then there is the fact that my sense of isolation and loneliness has increased as I’ve let go of relationships that don’t seem like a good match anymore. I must admit, it has been hard to let go of some things from the past. It’s human nature to resist change, but the path of awakening can show us that some things from the past simply aren’t serving us well anymore. We learn how crucial it is to embrace new relationships, new goals, and new environments that help us connect with the newer, more authentic self.

There is no doubt that pursuing the spiritual path requires a lot of strength and courage, but I have come to understand that it is so worth the effort and the struggle. It means we must abandon many things from our former life, including our identity, but we can become lighter, freer, and more complete as we make this transition into a more spiritual being. We can love ourselves more and love others more easily as a result of that. This planet is definitely in need of more love, wouldn’t you agree?

If you currently feel lost, confused, frustrated, sad, anxious, hopeless, or afraid, I hope you will rely on your inner strength to get you through these challenging times. If you find the spiritual awakening process too challenging and decide to give up to go back to your old way of living for a while, I don’t think it’s fair for anyone to pass judgment onto you. It is your path. Your development and evolution will occur when it is right for you. We are all somewhere along the spiritual path, whether everyone is conscious of it or not, but I believe you will become a true spiritual seeker when you are prepared for a total transformation.

Just keep in mind, this planet and where humanity is right now could use some healing and a major transformation, and that transformation starts with you. I hope you’ll find the strength and courage to get through it. Once you start the awakening process, I think you may find it too challenging and painful to go back to the old, less awakened way. I embrace this transformation I’m going through, and I hope you will embrace yours, too.
strength

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11 thoughts on “Spiritual Awakening: Embracing This Difficult Path

  1. Thanks for sharing your story. That is really touching.
    I can relate to that. The awe about the synchronicities. And the fatigue and loss of motivation. In my experience, that was a stage that had to be passed.
    Afterwards, the energy of Source kicks in and moves us, at least in my experience.
    I’m glad that you have arrived on WordPress with your blog and that you have led me a trail here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for leaving a comment and for following my blog, too 🙂 It’s good to hear that someone else can relate and that what I’m going through is just part of the process. I’m trying to accept where I am instead of wanting to rush through these uncomfortable thoughts and feelings, but I really have to admit that I look forward to getting through this difficult stage so I don’t feel so stuck anymore! Glad to hear you managed your way through it. I look forward to learning more about your journey 🙂

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  2. You have come so far in one year! It is not an easy road, but oh, so worth it! I am finally getting to point now where I am beginning to feel more integrated between my ego and authentic self. I had a ‘smack down’ with my ego when I was 19, and I’ve been awakening ever since. It will be ongoing for the rest of my life and probably yours too, because there really is no going back. You can’t unknow what you now know. Glad to meet you here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “You can’t unknow what you now know.” So much truth in that! Though our core personality still remains, awakening is so transformational to me that it feels like a totally different being is residing within. Sounds like your awakening began pretty early in life! Some days I feel like I’ve grown a lot since awakening. Other days, I feel stuck and trapped by the old ego’s ways. But like you said, awakening is a process that will probably continue for the rest of our lives. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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      • I’ve questioned choices I’ve made, opportunities passed up, but not for long because I realize those choices were made from my authentic self and the opportunities passed up would have fed my ego and not my authentic self. So even as you awaken, those issues may still come up. I still work with my ego, it is part of all of us. It doesn’t go away. It is an integral part of our personality. As we awaken we become more aware of it, and I think was can adjust more quickly and feel at peace because of the awareness. Ego isn’t all bad. When it check, it can serve our authentic self quite nicely!

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  3. I saw an angel many years ago, at the time I thought I was dying and called 999. I was taken to hospital and they said I was fine and that it was more likely a panic attack. I found out that day my godfather had passed away at the exact time I had my experience and vision. After this event It felt like I had a thread of light at the crown of my head going up into the universe ( it was intense yet peaceful and guiding) my life has had many ups and downs. Throughout these periods I wrote a letter to god and burnt it to pass through the skies. Since then my life has been unknown and at times tunnel led. Listening to you guys gives me faith in what I asked will come into fruition. We are all held back by constraints that have been placed unto us. Media, political, religious and the biggest been money. See without money we would not have greed, without greed we would not have fear and without fear we are free. It will come to pass that we will be the makers of our own doing and we will not need authority. But until that day we need to respect they play a vital role, then they must accept no one has power only identity. Its how we collectively define that makes the difference. As a unit we will all unite, heal, change and then live again. Its part of evolution.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing your unique experience! Lately I’ve spent a lot of time reading about and watching videos related to NDEs, OBEs, visitations from the deceased, and other huge life-changing events that have opened people’s eyes to the reality of a spirit realm. How incredible it is that you very likely saw your godfather in spirit as soon as he passed on to the other side! That’s amazing 🙂 And yes, there are still ups and downs and plenty of unknowns when you embrace the spiritual path. I hope it leads you to a lot of growth and fulfilling experiences. It’s very difficult to see the darkness and corruption that’s been running wild on this planet, but I still hope humanity will be able to unite, heal, and evolve. Unfortunately, I think humanity is choosing a path of ignorance and distractions, which will eventually result in a lot of pain and suffering, which will then force people to change. I might be wrong, but it looks like humanity is feeling a little too complacent right now to make big changes anytime soon. There’s a lot more pain to be experienced, I believe, before people decide that change is required.

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  4. Thanks for sharing. I have a question and any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I had a deep awakening beyond words. I identified as everyone and everything in all of laces and at all times, although time often didn’t exist. This lasted a period of 2 months with inexhaustible energy and constant stnchronicities. A spiritual therapist said that I experienced nothing t just no-self, but an advanced state beyond both self and no-self. However, since coming down, I have been chronically exhausted and ill for an entire year without any sense of self. I want to connect with others but nothing feels real. It’s like I don’t know how to live anymore. I have no identity and feel completely empty but not simultaneously filled with anything., let alive be everything. All efforts to create identity have failed and become maddening, like chasing a prize that doesn’t exist. I want to feel real again and connect with others and deepen my love but everything’s is hollow. My energy is often depleted. Meditation and spirituality now feel like an escape and further my disconnection. Any advice on how to proceed (if there is a way to proceed) would be highly appreciated. Thanks so much!

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    • Hi Sean,

      My goodness, when I read your comment, I felt a sense of relief knowing that I’m not the only one who has experienced so much discomfort! Intense fatigue, loss of identity, struggling to function, feeling stuck and disconnected, wondering why things quickly went downhill after the awakening began. I’ve experienced it all! Are we in the same boat or what?! Thank you so much for being vulnerable and sharing your experience with me. It has inspired me to write a new blog post, which I haven’t done in several months. I think my comment will be excessively long by the time I address each issue you mentioned, so a new blog post related to awakening, fatigue, and identity loss is on the way. I’ll provide a link here at the end of this comment when the new blog post has been published, which will be very soon. Thank you again for being open and honest about your challenging experience. It will help others feel less alone. My advice for now is simply to hang in there! Waking up is a hell of a ride for some of us, but we’ll make our way through it. I imagine years from now when we look back on this dark, challenging period, we’ll see why it was helpful and important for our growth.

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      • Wow, thanks for responding! I’m glad you got something out of it during this process. Your comment brought so much meaning to what has been a meaningless void. Being able to relate, even if for no purpose beyond just connecting, has become the most valuable part of my life right now. Something about being less alone when every experience is isolation itself is still rewarding. I’m glad you’ll be writing a new post that you think will help with that. I’d be happy to share more of my experiences and insights too. Thanks so much!

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      • I totally understand how helpful and valuable it is when you find others who can relate to your struggles. It’s not easy to find people who are interested and willing to drop their ego in pursuit of deeper meaning. It’s so much easier to find distractions in order to escape the pain and confusion of disillusionment, which is what most people do the minute they start questioning things. Some of us have no desire to take the easy way out, though, because our growth is more important. Check out Victor Oddo’s youtube channel. I think he’s extremely relatable. I’d love to hear more about your experiences and insights. You can continue sharing in the comments section here or send an email to mazzy_star_pixie@yahoo.com

        Here is the new blog post I just published: https://awakenfromthedream.wordpress.com/2017/01/07/spiritual-awakening-intense-fatigue-identity-loss/

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