Lately, I’ve come to realize numerous shifts in my spiritual awareness. Oh, how I love the beauty of hindsight! Looking back over my 45 years, I can see how many times, I dipped my toe into the waters of awakening. I can see how my spiritual path has weaved itself. I can see how seemingly random parts of my life intertwine with each other. I am a born analyst, I have always love analyzing things, finding patterns, noting small differences, forever categorizing and sorting and solving. Naturally curious, I have always asked lots of questions. I have always been willing to try most anything once, just for the experience of it. As my life’s journey progressed, I have traveled around the country and met people from all walks of life. These experiences greatly changed my very limited, catholic, conservative perspective of the world. I asked questions when it wasn’t PC to ask. In my professional life, I have been bold, verbal, inquisitive, analytical. In my personal life, I have cowered in the face of fear. I have never felt confident enough to speak my personal truth. A very early fascination with psychology and sociology led me to pursue it as a career, only to leave the idea, presumably when I determined I didn’t want to do the work to heal my own wounds, let alone listen to anyone else’s problems. I continued to seek spiritual release, trying out different religions, attending different self-help meetings, reading books about personal success, management & organizational development.I dabbled in the occasional occult things like tarot cards, astrology, psychics. I was curious about martial arts, energy healing, essential oils, Ayurveda, feng shei, reiki and many other things. Personal life circumstances would occasionally creep into my professional life, sending me into a tail spin, seeking, searching, reading, experimenting… I would always do just enough of the work to start feeling better and then move on with my life, eventually losing all spiritual progress. Or maybe not, because all of the experiences and experimenting and studying and pain has led me to research more philosophy, theology, history, science. Always searching for something, destination unknown.
It would be easy to pass this discovery off as a midlife crisis, I suppose, but, I rather think all the signs are showing me an awakening. I have also come to the realization that I a meant to do something more meaningful with my life. I have been digging deeply through the filing cabinets of my life to find what it is that I am meant to do. Maybe it is writing, so I start a blog. Maybe it is teaching, I begin to consider a change of career. Today, I realize I just need to let it flow and the answer will reveal itself when it is ready. This flash of knowing comes through meditation. So does the instruction to pay attention as the path unfolds.
Recently, I read the book, “The obstacle is the way” and its message is so powerful, yet one I have been getting consistently throughout my life. Whatever it is I am avoiding or afraid of is the exact thing I need to do to make progress my life in a positive way. Whatever feeling, conversation or task I am trying to find my way out of, is actually the way to empowerment. It appears to be true that the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself. As I find my way in the journey and take small steps to do the work, I find it is never as difficult as I feared and the reward is always worth the effort. I can look back on my past and see how the lessons have revealed themselves and re-revealed themselves when I have failed to learn them.
I can also see my ability to take a step back and contemplate my reaction improve as my self-awareness grows. I am able to see patterns in my behavior and begin the steps of analyzing what I need most for further spiritual growth.
I am able to see how my ego takes over sometimes, how I am very selfish sometimes. Awareness helps me see a situation from the other person’s perspective. This grows my gratitude and empathy and at times, my sympathy, immensely.
I am also able to reflect on all the times in the past few weeks I have resorted to old patterns. This allows me to reflect on what it is I have been avoiding.I am able to see how “My way,” (Once a theme song for me) has led down a lonely path. I am able to see how my need to be loved has made me selfish and unloving, always giving to get and expecting grand expectations of love and friendship that I was unwilling to give of or to myself. I am also to see places in my life where I was loved and thought I was not, because it wasn’t on my terms or by my definition. I am able to see where in my life, I have destroyed relationships with my selfish kind of love. I can see the role I played in the valleys of my life, I have not been always been the victim I have told in my personal story. At least not completely.
In Al-anon, I would call this a fearless personal and moral inventory. It is not a pleasant task. Who wants to contemplate personal faults? Who really wants to hold themselves accountable? I am able to see each time in my life where I hit the wall of stalled progress as soon as it came time to work. Relief could have been found just on the other side of the curtain I was avoiding.
When I put it all on paper, I feel overwhelmed at all the signs of progress I am making. It gives me comfort and helps me to know I am exactly where I am supposed to be. On this road less traveled.
I would love for you to share your experiences. Let’s live and learn together.