Wednesday, March 30, 2011

You Are Not Alone

One of the many feelings that many people who are waking up on the spiritual path have is the sense of being alone. It's one of the many tricks of the ego, which considers itself a separate entity. It's one of those funny aspects of waking up that there's still this quality of being half asleep. So you get it. And you don't get it at the same time. You feel connected to everything and everyone, but you feel isolated and completely on your own. I think this is where spiritual community helps to ease the burden of the transition and to help reinforce this important idea: you are not alone.


Waking Up Is Hard to Do
Until you've actually had that huge hit of energy that sends you spinning into awakening, a lot of this won't make sense. You're still in your ego-mind, and that's fine. You are a separate being, and you aren't influenced by anyone. You can control your destiny, etc., etc. This blog post isn't for you. You are still a frozen bubble locked into the icy pond of unconsciousness. There's nothing wrong with it. There are many people still in this space. Instead, I would point you to the Starting Out section on this blog to begin to build a framework for what I'm discussing.

For those of you who are waking up, you do know how much hard work is involved. It's not because awakening is hard. It is making sense of everything in a way that allows you to live in the world in a new way that's still hard. It won't always be. I see this round of people waking up as the next wave of trailblazers to create structures and spaces for future people waking up to do so more easily. In many ways, that's part of my work. I'm blogging and teaching so that others can have a little bit easier of a time with this until such time that awakening is like puberty--it's just an understood transition that happens to everyone (although in all honesty, I don't particularly think puberty is handled well, but that's another blog topic for another time).

Connecting With Others on the Spiritual Path
I'm a broken record playing the same song about the importance of spiritual community. Over and over again, I'll repeat; you need support. You need support from others who've walked this path, and rest assured, there are lots of people who have walked it and are walking it. My inbox is a testament to this truth as more and more people contact me. At this time, in the grand scheme of Internet Web properties, I really don't get much traffic. So, I've been impressed how many people have contacted me. I can feel the momentum of the awakening consciousness in the world, and like a newborn, it is cranky, scared, and feeling really alone.

In the same way that you care for baby, you have to learn to care for yourself. You learn how important it is to rest and take naps and speak lovingly to yourself. This is not the "No Pain, No Gain" path. That's part of the old ways, and truly, pushing too hard will really be upsetting. So can not pushing enough. It's frustrating, I know. But you have to find a balance, and finding that balance with the support of others can really help.

Making Inroads on Your Path Alone-Together
There was a quote that I saw awhile back that I can't remember the author of. It roughly went like this:

You can't do this alone,
And no one can do this for you.

That is the spiritual path. There is much that you'll have to face in the spaces of silence within you. They may not be silent either. They may be noisy and loud, but still, it's where you have to go. But yet, without the connection to the divine and usually a lot of community help, you won't go very far on this path. As an isolated, separate individual, we don't have that much power and energy to move through our boundaries. God and community are those extra surges of energy to break through the barriers and connect with our true selves within us.

I speak to and hear from so many people looking for community. They are not sure where to find it, but I think that when you really allow yourself to open up, that it's usually not that far away. Certainly, you have to look. You can't expect that everything will drop in your lap, but some of it will. That's part of the paradox of life. You have to let go to receive. You have to aspire and work to receive as well. You have to give to receive. You have to do the opposite of what you want to get what you want (well, to a point. Remember this is all being done in loving kindness). And you have to do exactly what you want to get what you want.

It's a little muddy. It's a little confusing. But you're not alone. It's already perfect. Just let go, and pretty soon, you will find your community.

Thanks to Arran Edmonstone for today's picture. You can see more of his photography on this Flickr link.
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