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. Hopefully, you will have a few mystical experiences that help open your eyes to seeing life through a new perspective. You will also 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 take 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, the journey of awakening never ends once you step foot on this path. There are endless ways to keep growing and shifting. None of us should expect to cross a finish line at any point. Secondly, although I will focus on the challenges involved with awakening, I certainly don’t view awakening as an entirely 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 as compassionate and loving 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, my brother had passed away. 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 very 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 were not just coincidences. Some of these things that happened were way too bizarre and statistically improbable to be considered random. They were synchronicities to me, and it was an indication that things happen for a reason and that 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 but in a good way because I was suddenly able to see just how magical and beautiful life can be. 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 go in another direction.

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. This fatigue 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 had a couple of mild vitamin deficiencies, but resolving those was not enough. I had so many symptoms of adrenal fatigue and decided to take a natural approach. Very slowly the worst symptoms started going away, but I am still not completely back to my normal self yet. My body is still slowly healing and adjusting. I am grateful that I can at least eat a meal now without feeling so wiped out that I need to nap for an hour. Sometimes I feel like I am seeing improvement, but then other times I find myself needing more naps than usual.

Despite the intense fatigue I experienced for about a year after the awakening began, there were pleasant moments interspersed here and there. Specifically, I had some sort of mystical out-of-body experience where I felt myself expanding beyond my physical body to the point that the boundaries between me and everything external to my body no longer felt solid. I felt extremely ungrounded and disconnected from my body, as if my soul/essence was floating around and melding with everyone and everything. This sensation lasted for about two days. To be honest, while I was in this expansive state, I was slightly concerned that I was losing my sanity and my ability to function like a normal human. It was also a beautiful experience, though. I finally felt like I was united with everyone and everything, from strangers around the world to the curtains hanging in my apartment. It moved me to tears to realize how much unnecessary separation we experience in human bodies.

The biggest challenges I still face are a lack of motivation and not having much of a sense of 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 wounds and 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 our more authentic self.

There is no doubt that pursuing the spiritual path requires a lot of strength and courage, but I have come to believe that it is 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. Beginnings and transitions are always the most challenging.

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 feel the need to slow down and withdraw to cope with these changes, I hope you will honor whatever it is you feel you need to get through this. Your development and evolution is occurring at the pace that is right for you. We are all somewhere along the spiritual path, whether everyone is conscious of it or not. I embrace this transformation I’m going through. And if you have consciously embarked on a spiritual path, I hope you will find the courage to embrace transformation, too.
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18 thoughts on “Spiritual Awakening: Embracing This Difficult Path

  1. Karin July 1, 2015 / 3:50 PM

    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

    • awakenfromthedream July 1, 2015 / 4:57 PM

      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 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Destination Enlightenment August 21, 2015 / 2:05 AM

    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

    • awakenfromthedream August 21, 2015 / 11:16 PM

      “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!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Destination Enlightenment August 24, 2015 / 2:22 PM

        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. spirituousspeaking December 6, 2016 / 2:01 PM

    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.

    Like

    • awakenfromthedream December 26, 2016 / 5:44 PM

      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.

      Like

  4. Sean December 31, 2016 / 3:38 PM

    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!

    Like

    • awakenfromthedream January 4, 2017 / 4:29 PM

      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.

      Like

      • Sean January 6, 2017 / 5:15 PM

        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!

        Like

      • awakenfromthedream January 7, 2017 / 1:21 PM

        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/

        Like

  5. Aniket Kale November 12, 2017 / 10:22 PM

    I’m glad I read this blog.. This is the first blog where I actually subscribed and I am commenting as well… I am also in the path of the unknown.. I do some spiritual practices which I learnt through isha foundation.. It’s been a couple of months now.. But after the practice there is a strong feeling of connection and bliss withing me.. But it doesn’t last.. Post sometime I may feel lost, anxietic and sometimes panic too.. I really don’t know why I feel that.. Is it that my kundalini is being awakened or it’s in process is why I have these emotions.. I still do my practises.. I have some health issues related to vitamin deficiency.. And social anxiety In the past.. I used to drink alcohol on weekends to cure the social anxiety.. Now I don’t like to drink alcohol as it disconnects me from the spiritual connection and if I do I feel sick for a day or two and stop my practices for a day or two.. It’s been sometime now I am not drinking and continuously doing my practises.. But now after the practice the vision is different.. Like Im going insane.. I’m studying finance now and I don’t feel like studying after the practice as I feel anxious.. But I also like the new sense of awareness Ive got and compassion about everything.. I’m like a volcano inside with so many questions.. I get dreams all the times. Sometimes makes sense but most of the times complete senseless. Aum.

    Like

    • awakenfromthedream December 11, 2017 / 6:09 PM

      Hi Aniket,

      Thank you for commenting and sharing that. The contradictory feelings you described do not sound unusual at all for someone who’s waking up to their higher self. I experience this, too. It has become so much easier to tap into that inner peace and bliss, but having a heightened awareness means our emotions, both the pleasurable and unpleasurable, can feel more intense. And just because we’re waking up and finding that inner joy that has always been within us, it doesn’t mean we don’t still have a lot of inner wounds and emotional baggage to deal with before things can settle down. I believe we’re getting more in tune with ourselves, becoming more aware of our hangups that we need to let go of, and we’re trying to learn to trust what does and doesn’t feel right to us. See if you can find out what message the anxiety is trying to tell you. I believe emotions are messengers. If you’re too overwhelmed by uncertainty now, try not to get stressed about not having the answers. A spiritual awakening unfolds in its own way for each person. My best advice is to listen to your inner wisdom. It will guide you through this process. The beginning is always the most confusing.

      Like

  6. kerstin January 24, 2018 / 5:46 AM

    Thanks for that article. I experienced all of your things… and in the moment I DONT KNOW WHAT I WANT. I was in a job I was disgusted of after my spiritual awakening, although I only had that one goal. Now I dont know if its the right fit anymore. All my passion is gone. Maybe it doesnt matter which job we do, maybe you feel comfortable with all jobs. But some people find their path and wake up and are excited to go to their job. I dont know what exciting means anymore. Sometimes I feel lots of peace and bliss. Then fear and losing my mind. I just dont know what direction I should take.
    I have no goals or desires. Maybe travel. I dont feel called to anything. Eceryobe says DREAM BIG. I once had that. Now I just dont know if everythings ok or if I have to keep looking to get that feeling: thats it. On the other side nothing external can make you happy, thats what some say. You see I am confused.

    Like

    • awakenfromthedream January 24, 2018 / 4:47 PM

      Hi Kerstin,

      Thank you for commenting. It does sound like you are in a situation very similar to mine. Part of waking up means losing attachments and seeing through illusions you never noticed before. I believe that is what is happening to us. We are losing our passions and interest in the external world because we can now see the truth that real peace and happiness lie within us, not out there in the world through a material possession, an achievement, a career, a relationship, etc. It is tempting to tell ourselves, “I’m losing my mind” or “I must be really depressed” when the truth is that we’ve just become disillusioned with the world and all the nonsensical things people do to make themselves temporarily feel better and superior to others. Once you see what a sham it is to strive for these meaningless things we’re conditioned to chase after all our lives, it can take a while to adjust to this new perspective and figure out a new way of experiencing life. Detachment is the best word I can think of to describe this place I’ve been in since my awakening began. It’s bound to feel really uncomfortable to become detached when we’ve spent all our lives clinging to specific belief systems and attaching ourselves to people, places, and things. I wish I could tell you where to go from here, but I still experience a lot of confusion myself. Just keep looking within for answers because your soul will be your best guide.

      Like

  7. Awakened.... February 22, 2018 / 6:12 PM

    My definition of ‘Spiritual Awakening’ has entailed profound loss. In February 2016, I lost my sweet and lovely cousin – likened to my sister; pneumonia. She was 47, had two sons and three beautiful grand children. My cousin was found dead in bed. 10 weeks later, in April, my beautiful mum had a catastrophic stroke in the night, from which she never recovered. After two harrowing weeks of no sleep -myself and my siblings, stayed right beside her in hospital for all of that time -we cried ourselves sick, held her hand, kissed loved her with all our heart and soul, and ultimately watched our dearest beloved and most precious mum leave us before our very eyes. It was a devastating, cruel and horrible experience; one that will haunt me and my siblings for the rest of our time on earth.

    In November 2016 – 6 months later – we lost our dear aunt to a stroke too. The grief has been overwhelmingly ever since, we have all been depressed and have fallen ill in some way. 2016 then, for my family was a horrendously awful year which has taken the joy from our lives and changed us all profoundly. In my opinion then – call it what you will –
    SA is not by any stretch of the imagination- a sugar coated or idealistic experience; as most people who are still ‘asleep’ perceive it to be.

    Additionally, much information on the internet positively sensationalizes and promotes SA as idealistic. Again, on the basis of experience; this is mythical, possibly designed in such a way as to market, intrigue, promote and sell books –
    SA as it were, is presently, trendy and fashionable…[ ]

    SA,in my experience then, is far removed from idealistic; totally obliterating, all perceived constructs and perceptions of life as once believed … SA turns your world inside out; emotionally, mentally, spiritually and any other way… adversely?, I’d say for me yes. SA has been a excruciating lyrics painful ‘Wake Up Call’… Neither I, nor my siblings, will ever be the same again… Presently, I’ve lost all joy in life and literally go through the motions of day to day existence. Now, I am a true realist, with no room for idealism.

    Like

    • awakenfromthedream February 23, 2018 / 3:23 AM

      Oh my, it seems so unfair to lose that many family members at once. My heart goes out to you. You’re strong for keeping your sanity through it all. I really mean that. My dark night has been difficult, but I’m not sure how I would cope with what you and your sisters have experienced.

      It sounds like you’ve been thrown deep into a dark night of the soul. If this was what everyone experienced, their fluffy ideas of spirituality would instantly be shattered. For people like you and I, waking up is not a smooth sailing process…..at all. For reasons I don’t understand, some people do have spiritual/mystical experiences that transform their life, yet they don’t face as many losses and hardships like some of us. I wish I could tell you why it has to be this way for some people, while others get an easier ride that allows them to maintain an optimistic outlook on life and the spiritual journey.

      I agree with your viewpoint that spirituality among certain crowds has become trendy and superficial. Younger people especially like to build a personal image around it and flaunt this identity with their yoga and meditation routines, yet the ones who didn’t invite such an experience into their life are the ones quietly off to themselves who have the greatest potential for growth and transformation. When spiritual awakening is raw and real, it’s destructive. It’s painful. It’s confusing and unpredictable. It makes us feel like victims who didn’t ask to go through this miserable crap.

      I read this article a couple days ago and shed a few tears of validation. Maybe it will do the same for you:
      http://www.elcollie.com/st/darkness.html

      Thank you for reaching out and sharing your story. I know that living day to day is probably all that you have the strength for right now, but I hope you will gradually find more peace as you adjust and heal.

      Like

  8. Awakened.... April 19, 2018 / 7:06 PM

    Apologies for the delayed response and thank you for your reply and your understanding. Yes, it’s hard going. Presently I absolutely just get through from day to day wearing an exterior mask of semi acceptable normality. I’ve become so very exhausted with the immense grief. I don’t sleep well and have lost motivation for pretty much anything outside of day to day functioning. I’m apathetic towards the superficially of modern day living. Whilst I’m glad to be here still, for the most part I am so very tired. I truly wonder about this illusionary existence, as all joy had ceased only to be replaced with harsh reality. I’m guess ing that harsh reality’ is spiritual awakening, anything less is the stuff of ‘fairy tales’. Thank you for the link, I will check it out.

    Like

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