We are at a new beginning.
Seeing Rebirth for What It IsBecause so many people are confused about spiritual awakening/enlightenment/ascension, they think that it is a goal and an endpoint to their journey. Here at awakening many people think that they'll be done with the troubles of the world and no difficulties will ever touch them again. But truly, awakening is barely at the beginning of the story. When people use the term rebirth, they are actually using a very smart and meaningful word (which can be rare in language). It means to be born again. What happens when we are born? We aren't fully formed. We don't know how to eat, interact, or live. We have to learn everything from scratch.
Many of you who have walked this path have truly felt like you were learning everything all over again. In this way, we truly experience rebirth as becoming a kind of infant in the awakened space living in this world. As we open further into this space, we naturally grow and learn how to interact in natural and loving ways. But initially, everything may seem quite overwhelming as we realize that we have returned to square one.
The Critical Importance of HealingFurthermore, many people, upon having that light switch on, suddenly see how much debris, decay, and disease are in their inner homes. Many of us have been extremely sick for all of our lives, and immense healing becomes critical before we can move into our natural growth cycles. People with different levels of trauma and abuse and who have abused and traumatized others may go through really deep and profound healing cycles. This is where my post about healing multiple layers often has a lot of important meaning and tips for many of you. In general though, the sicknesses of fear, greed, despair, and hatred have infected a lot of us, so many of us (if not most of us) go through healing cycles (I know that I certainly have) before or simultaneously with deeper spiritual openings. This does not mean that we are doing anything wrong to feel so much pain coming up; it is simply that now we can see how much pain we have always been in.
Misconceptions About AwakeningMany people try to blame awakening as the bringer of this pain or they think that it is some kind of ordeal or initiation to be passed. That's not it at all. Awakening has simply shown you the current state of affairs in your life. It brought the light of awareness to your inner home. The person who brought all the disease and sickness into that home is the one that looks you in the mirror each day. But this isn't meant to be a blame-game. You are where you are, and now, for possibly the first time in your whole life, you can let go of this pain and be a fully healed and whole person. Isn't that an extraordinarily exciting thing?
Other people quickly also try to turn this awakening into a new ego identity. Just at the moment of freedom, they quickly turn to find new clothing. They wrap themselves in robes and new spiritual names because they are terrified of letting go of all identity. They still need to be someone; that is a need that only comes from the ego. The true you, your soul, does not need anything. It is simply awareness, and the work that we must be relentless with is about peeling away any and all false layers that cover up that pure love and beauty.
Embracing the Cycles of Healing and Spiritual GrowthWhen awakening first hits, everything feels like it is in turmoil. But as I said, this is not so much the awakened awareness as the reality that you were already in turmoil. You were already in a heap of trouble, but most of you were too numbed, too busy, and too otherwise detached from yourself to know just how bad things were. In my metaphor of the broken leg, many of you have been using drugs, alcohol, sex, work, relationships, and more to cover up and/or numb the immense pain of walking around on two broken legs. But what happens when you stop that and you look at your legs? You see that everything is pussing, oozing, infected, and bleeding. You suddenly are in a great deal of agony.
But here in this agony, you now can actually meet the pain and attend to it. Without the agony, you still might try to avoid doing what you need to do to heal. Some of the stories that I've been told feature some of you in deep healing spending a lot of time journaling, exhausted, and seeking healers of different kinds to help heal and purge the pain. This is a very common and necessary story for those that awaken and carry deep pains within them. As that phase subsides over the time that is needed, a natural opening and deepening into the awakened space can be more accessible. In essence, the legs heal, and you can begin to crawl.
The Many Doorways Before UsI believe that we are all different kinds of seeds (yes, it's time for another metaphor). So when we are finally healthy enough to grow naturally, we all will go through many different levels and will need different amounts of time for our growth. Some of you are pumpkin seeds and will grow relatively quickly and share wonderful gourds with everyone. Others of you are cherry trees that will shower beautiful blossoms on others and share sweet fruits. Yet others will be towering redwood trees bringing shade and comfort to many and will grow slowly over time for many, many years. Suffice it to say, the nutrients, space, and support that each one of you need will be different. The gifts you will share will be different and perfectly unique for each of you, and this is part of why it's impossible to ever compare one awakening to the next. Everyone has their unique and beautiful talents to share, and you should trust what it is that you most love and naturally want to share. Don't try to be anything; you already know what you are.
And to truly embrace this path and to embrace you, you must keep saying, "Yes." When the ego runs in and says, "I can't take much more." You have to say, "Yes, I can." And then let go and drop in deeper within you. When a new doorway presents itself and things are getting intense and overwhelming again, knock on the door. Turn the knob. Step through once more. If you trust your inner knowing and your own process, you will naturally grow as you and you alone can grow.
The Many Pitfalls of SocietyExpect no help from society. This isn't meant to be cynical. Instead, this is an acknowledgment of the immense ignorance in this society. This is an acknowledgment that many of you are the new wisdom-sharers and wisdom-holders, and society will need to learn how to be an awakened loving being from each one of you. In this way, you are all pioneers for your local communities, even, perhaps, for many of the so-called spiritual teachers who are little more than guardians of doctrine. There is nothing wrong with this, of course, but there are also different levels of spiritual teachers. They are all needed because every aspect of society needs to learn and hear the truth differently.
So don't expect many people to understand the truth as you do. Don't be upset or angry; where you do get upset, you have another opportunity to see where the ego is hiding out in you. It gives you another opportunity to relentless embrace the awakened state as you say, "I see you my old friend. I see where you have been hiding this time, and I can let you go."
More Veils of Illusion DisappearMany of you have already learned that as more veils of illusion disintegrate, your growth goes even further than you'd imagined. Again and again, we find out where we don't believe in ourselves, have gotten lost in fear, or have otherwise been hoodwinked by illusion. Then the next layer melts away, and we grow further into our fullness. We deepen into this awakened awareness that already is. We expand the room we live in so that even more of us can be present in this world of duality.
There is no real endpoint to this, but you don't need to think about it as such. As the initial healing and opening subsides, your dedication to this state of awareness becomes crucial. It isn't about doing so much as allowing, but this allowing must be allowed, if you will. You can't achieve that through just trying to get the difficulty over with. The difficulty is there because you put it there. If you are in a terrible relationship, you helped create it. If you hate yourself, you are the one actively hating and rejecting yourself. If you don't even know why your body hurts so much, simply accept that in someway you called this into your life. Then you can also allow it to pass. There is nothing to hold onto, and most of the illusions we are lost in are because we actively perpetuate them. In this way, much of the unfolding is ultimately what simply arises because we stop energizing lies.
Dedication and Softening; Discipline and AllowingThe path through life is always a balance of dedication and softening, self-discipline and allowing. You can't just go with the prevailing flow of society. A lot of society is headed towards its own demise, so you many need to do some vigorous paddling in the stream of life. But where we let go of the most difficulty is within ourselves. If we no longer fight ourselves, it is so much easier to relentlessly embrace the awakened state in this moment because there is no longer any internal division. From this space, love is our natural awareness, and committing to love becomes hardly any commitment at all. It simply is what we are, and love grows as love already knows how to do--perfectly.
The spiritual road on this page comes from my friend and photographer, Becky Stiller. You can see her work on her Flickr account.