The concept of Spiritual Awakening sparks many imaginative ideas. Most of them involve a concept of higher-mindedness, a sense of inner peace, and a connection to all living things. When we think of the term Spiritual Awakening, we often picture something along these lines:
A beautiful, peaceful existence...connected to the Universe, whole and secure in our own power. And this is a great representation of how it can feel in those moments of enlightenment. (Notice I said 'moments' - we'll come back to that in a bit.)
This vision, this beauty is what we're all striving for. Or should be.
But sometimes we get so focused on this desired outcome that we can forget there's a ton of work that comes before it. In reality, Spiritual Awakening looks rather more like this:
In order to create something new, we must first deconstruct the old. This is why The Tower is one of my favorite tarot cards - there can be no creation without destruction. And if we can just wrap our minds around this concept, we're already halfway there.
Think of your spiritual journey as a building project. Let's say you want to create a beautiful store that will serve your community in love and compassion. But there is an old, rambling shack on the site where you want to build. Would you just try to throw your lovely new shop right on top of the rubble? No you would not, because that's ridiculous. You have to clear away first.
The same is true of your inner construction - you cannot begin to create something new and beautiful until you clear out the wreckage of your past, and come to terms with your Ego. We're all walking around with energetic backpacks full of the pain and hurt and fear we've experienced. This is a feature of the human mind, not a flaw. After all, we're the descendants of those ancestors who utilized their fear and memory of pain to stay alive.
But now, in the absence of being actively hunted by wildlife in a dark forest, this ancestral memory has nowhere to go. So we try to spin it out of ourselves into things of our current world - who is for me, who is against me...where is the danger and how do I neutralize it...must stay vigilant, must not drop my guard, my very survival depends on it.
This state of hypervigilance is absolutely exhausting. And so we work instead to hear the voice of the soul over the voice of the egoic monkey-mind. Thus starts our path to Spiritual Awakening.
The real magic is in the brutal honesty of deconstruction. Don't be afraid to take a wrecking ball to what you think you know.
What are you holding on to from your past? What beliefs or ideas about yourself or the world have you simply accepted because they were told to you? Where are your weaknesses? How can you turn them into strengths? What do you need to learn from others? Everyone has a lesson to teach us, if we only listen.
The journey to a more fulsome life is not easy, nor is it free from destruction and pain. In fact, they are the very tools that push us to higher realizations. This is where we harness that ancestral fear and put it to good use! Find the pieces of yourself that are rooted in fear...then identify them, love them for what they have taught you, and let them go.
Most importantly, we must remember we're all on this journey together. We're all swinging our wrecking balls around at the same time. The goal is to try and not hit anyone else with it. If you can begin seeing people for their intrinsic beauty and who they are at their soul - and not let the noise of their own, personal deconstruction distract you from that - it will change your life.
My final point returns to the beginning of this writing - Spiritual Awakening is a cycle, a process. It is not a destination. It is not something you achieve and then you're all set from there. Think of it more like waves, or mountains and valleys. You will reach amazing spiritual heights, gain better insight into existence, and then you'll go around all over again to learn a new lesson.
This can help us in our quest for compassion, as well. If we recognize we're all in this same cycle, we can identify its different phases as they happen in others around us. We can see they're not terrible people or selfish creatures...they're simply in that particular tough phase that we've already been through and will go through again. They're doing the best they can with what they have in the moment, just like us.
The journey to Awakening is not static, and it is not finite. It is eternal and beautiful.
So get out there and start destroying the things you're carrying that are not aligned with your soul. Swing that wrecking ball with gusto. Transmute that fear into excitement, and take it with you into your amazing future.
All love, fellow travelers.