Awakening Through Painful Life Changes
While trauma that comes from painful change is not something we like or want, we do want to awaken to our full potential—the Higher Self.
It’s a sign of the amazing times we are living in that the word “awakened” has made it into the urban dictionary. It is defined as “spiritually aware of the universe and [its] direct metaphysical connection to one’s own being and the connection it has to all life forces.”
I had an experience of a sudden spiritual awakening several years ago when miraculously I felt deeply connected to love, the infinite, and all of life. I was finally truly happy and free of fear and the depression that I had for many years.
I thought that this must also be happening for everyone else too. I didn’t find many people who spoke about it then, but I believe it is happening for many people worldwide now.
Since my awakening experience, I have discovered that awakening happens for most people when there is a crisis or an event in their lives that causes them to disconnect from their protective personality. (ego).
Just like the events that will be precipitated by what is happening in the world right now. Many people are shaken to the core of their being. The world as we know it is changing. Many may have lost their jobs, their sense of security, and/or are facing the specter of disease and death.
Some are feeling traumatized by their experience at this time and it is bringing up past trauma and pain to be released. This is a hotbed for awakening in consciousness.
Awakening is certainly becoming mainstream for humanity. We can see how quickly things can shift!
In fact, awakening is so mainstream that candidate Marianne Williamson made part of her platform in running for president of the United States, a call for a “moral and spiritual awakening.” And that was before the Corona Virus.
If this time and place isn’t fertile ground for mass awakening, then I don’t know what is.
What is Awakening
According to Deepak Chopra, awakening happens when you are no longer living in a dream world where you filter everything through your ego.
Instead, you have an almost simultaneous awareness of your individual self and the connection between you and all that is—what I call the larger Self.
A common metaphor for this is like being a wave in the ocean. You are the wave, and you are the ocean. The ability to maintain both separation and connection seems to indicate a different level of spiritual evolution.
We are coming together as one in the threat and experience of the world pandemic. There is also a deeper feeling of love, wholeness, and even happiness that is riding underneath all the uncomfortableness of the unknown.
When you look across faith traditions, there is a common thread that describes this state as enlightenment, or awakening. This consciousness happens when you stop being the observer, and instead you ask yourself, who is observing?
Signs of awakening:
1. Observing Your Patterns
One of the first signs of awakening is noticing. You may have been going through life on autopilot without giving much thought to who you are, what you want, and why you are here.
When questions like this suddenly pop up, it is like turning on a light in a previously dark room. If you are aware that you are witnessing how you do life, you may be asking yourself to wake up to a new reality.
2. Feeling a Sense of Connection
Connection comes from shared humanity. This is happening in a big way as we come together in families, on-line groups, and communities.
You find yourself taking interest in your community. This can include volunteering at your local food bank, helping your neighbor, or reaching out to old friends and loved ones.
You have a deeper connection to the planet. You may have a sudden interest in your environment.
3. Letting Go of Attachment
Whether you are aware of it or not, you have many attachments. Our attachments are how we define yourselves before we find our soulful self.
You may define yourself by the kind of car you drive, your job, your spouse, what you eat, who you voted for, and/or how you spend your money.
As an awakened being, your sense of self becomes more expanded and inclusive of others as you share commonality with them.
You find that those things that you were so attached to really aren’t all that important after all.
We may be forced to release any of our attachments as part of the awakening process. The more we can release that resistance to letting go, the less suffering we feel.
4. Increasing Compassion
Empathy is your ability to feel what others are feeling, to try on a new perspective. Compassion is an action that is inspired by your empathy. It literally means “to suffer with.”
People who are in the process of a spiritual awakening begin to notice both a more all-encompassing empathy and a more action-oriented compassion that feels normal, natural, and fulfilling.
One advanced practice while awakening is self-compassion and self-kindness. You are a part of the One.
5. Finding Inner Peace
You find that you have more peace in your life. Things that used to bother you don’t anymore.
Being at peace doesn’t mean that things don’t go wrong in your life, it just means that when things do go badly, you aren’t on an emotional roller coaster of anger, frustration, or despair.
The Dalai Lama describes inner peace like stubbing his toe—he still experiences an emotional charge, but it is fleeting.
Inner peace allows you to find your center more easily.
6.Removing Fear of Death
Some teachers say that all fear is really a fear of death. All fear decreases generally as an individual becomes more awakened.
When you know that consciousness transcends a physical body, the loss of a body feels less tragic.
You are able to view death as inevitable, as part of your process of life, and this allows for peace and removes fear.
Practices to Assist in Your Spiritual Awakening
- Spend time outside
- Laugh and Dance
- Connect with your community
- Practice gratitude
- Slow down
As Eckhart Tolle says, “You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.”
Who you are, is more than you can possibly imagine. Continue to awaken and you will find all that you already are. It is just a matter of awakening to it. ~ Lindsay Godfree
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