A spiritual awakening is a life changing event.
You begin to question your own identity, who you are, and what’s really important to you.
This is both the scariest and the most powerful aspect of awakening.
It causes you to question assumptions you have held and conclusions you believed to be true about yourself, others and the world.
Awakening is a natural process often initiated by a catalytic event.
A car accident or near death experience, an illness, the end of a close relationship, or the death of a loved one are all occasions that may cause someone to question the nature and purpose of life in a whole new way.
However, it doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience.
You can just as easily experience a joyful or beautifully perfect moment as simple as the smell of a flower, the sight of a sunset, or the sound of the laughter of a child, which causes you to question why life isn’t always this way.
You may experience it gradually over time, or in an instant.
The moment is unique and perfect for each person, but the result is the same.
You begin to realize that there is more to life than you previously imagined, and through this new awareness, you gain a whole new perspective.
Much of what you thought was important before, may suddenly seem even trivial, as you find yourself asking the age old questions “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?”
This process is transformational, because this awareness, once seen, cannot be unseen.
Once you wake up, you can not ignore it, or possibly hope to go back to the way things were, even if you wanted to.
It can be scary at first to question and deconstruct the beliefs you have accumulated from others through indoctrination, or social conditioning and hypnosis.
Traditions, the roles you play, the expectations of others and of yourself, and even the very lens through which you judge yourself and what you see around you as being either good or bad, begin to shift.
It can be unsettling to experience the bedrock on which you built your world as shifting sands.
It can cause confusion, disorientation, and can strike at your most basic and instinctual fears.
Does your mind ever gravitate to the worst case scenario in a given situation?
Do you ever find yourself motivated more by the avoidance of anticipated discomfort than the pursuit of pleasure?
It isn’t just a matter of pessimism versus optimism.
The reason “negative” emotions like fear can elicit a stronger impact on your psychology than equally intense “neutral” or even “positive” emotions is due to something called a “negativity bias.”
It is the result of mechanisms in your brain which have evolved to help you survive.
Your mind will always try to anticipate and plan for the worst it can imagine based on previous experience because that is what it is designed to do.
But here is the kicker.
Your brain may be designed to save your life, but your mind is trying to save your identity, your sense of self.
Because your mind can’t tell the difference.
When you go through a spiritual awakening, you are literally changing your self-identity.
Your mind views a change in your identity as a death process, and it will fight to protect the old identity, even if it is no longer serving you.
The good news is that you are so much more than your mind, and you have a choice in any given moment about what you choose to focus on.
As you go through the process of awakening with courage, don’t forget to have compassion for yourself as well.
You are going through a deep transformation which will ultimately change how you see yourself and your place in the world.
If you find yourself going through this process right now, as terrifying as it might seem, I promise you that you are going to be ok, and it gets easier with time.
You are not alone