When you go through transformation and change, it often feels like the world is squeezing you through an emotional birth canal. And as you begin waking up to your life, there are times when it may feel as if you are disconnected from everything. I recall feeling detached from the world around me, which caused me to question even moving forward with “spiritual enlightenment” (this is the label that is placed on ‘waking up’ from living inside your thoughts into living in the present, detached from your thoughts). Detaching yourself from your thoughts is somewhat like peeling and scraping an old piece of scotch tape from a desk. It takes some time and strength. It is certainly frustrating, and there are times you feel like giving up. Don’t.
Trust that when you begin this process, there will be some turbulence along the way, but keep your eyes and ears open to things leading you into the right direction. Know that you are always being guided along your journey. Be aware of the silence that may feel as if you are completely alone in the world, but don’t use it as an excuse to give up. The silence may feel like desolation, but it is this desolation you need in order to discover your Self (your higher self). Silence is the space in which to listen to your inner being. It’s the place of healing, growing and learning about walking in faith. In time, silence will become your friend – and the closer you become to your Self and understand who you are through this process, the more connected you will feel to the people and the surrounding world.
When fear comes up for you (oh, and it will), step out of its grip by acknowledging its presence, and by finding out what it’s telling you without following its path. You can listen to fear without heeding to it. In order to “wake up,” you must overcome your fear by facing it – for this is what has kept you quite asleep in your life. If it is becoming too much for you, simply tell the universe to “slow down” the process. You are in control. You have authority over your life. When you begin waking up, you will understand your power, and fear will no longer have authority over you.
You will be tested and challenged throughout this process. Know this and be aware of it as it is occurring. People will come along and push you into other directions. Others may prod you toward “negative” emotions. They are not aware that they are your teachers along your path. Keep moving forward, ignore distractions, be aware of anything that enters into your experience to send you off course. And if you go off course for a time, know that it is nothing more than part of your experience. Sometimes we have to go off the path in order for the path to become clearer. Always practice compassion for yourself – no matter what.
Emotions will arise – some of them so intense you may feel like you are nowhere near “enlightenment.” Don’t suppress your emotions. Don’t be a fool and act like they do not exist. Emotions have to be regarded so that they can move through your body. Anger and rage may overcome you at times. Sadness may envelop you for no reason at all. Scenes in movies may trigger you to cry uncontrollably. Allow the tears to flow. Feel any rage that comes up without acting on it. When I was going through this process, I felt completely out of control at times, and it would usually be when I thought I’d reached the height of my “awakening.” It was a gentle reminder that “waking up” is an ongoing process. It never ends. Each day is a practice of self-awareness and living consciously. There is no end to the path, except perhaps upon death when we are in spirit. As you continue this practice of acknowledging your emotions, they will begin to move through you much more swiftly, and you will discover this is because you are firmly rooted in joy. Your emotions are like rain and your inner joy is like a window that the rain merely rolls down and dissipates while the window remains in tact.
Shedding the ego is part of this experience, and for me it always feels like something in my body is thrashing. I am still shedding my ego. When it occurs, is usually when I’m feeling the most restless. I used to dread these moments of restlessness, but now I embrace them knowing that it is a time of great growth. The ego is afraid to let go. It feels like it must protect you, so it fights when you are ready to move on from that portion of yourself. It is helpful to talk to your ego and to tell it that it is ok to move on. Give it permission to leave. Gently tell it that this part of you no longer serves you and that you are graciously letting it go. Thank it for wanting to protect you. If you are anything like me, you will feel something in your being, squirm and wrestle around. It will also provoke emotions. Watch it, rather than buy into it. The shedding of the ego is like getting rid of “demons.” When I read about Jesus casting out demons in the Bible, I truly believe that he was clairvoyant enough to see the ego, and to call it out by name. The way the Bible describes how the demons reacted, was exactly what I feel in my own body when the ego is being shed. To remain humble, we must shed the ego.
Waking up is a choice and once you make this decision, there really is no turning back. In a room that is dark, when a candle is lit, you can blow it out, but the memory of that room will never go away. There are times when I doubted everything about this awakening process, and then I understood that doubt is part of the experience. Waking up to yourself is like going into the dense wilderness and coming out with a fresh and beautiful new perspective. Learn to meditate for clarity, pray for guidance and practice trusting that where you are is exactly where you need to be, without judgment. If you are going through this process and want to share with others what you are experiencing, please post in the comment section.