“Take off your sunglasses Sayali,” said Lynne when we got ready to get a picture of us together at a restaurant. I looked at her and my other friend Lenny and said, “But there is so much pain in my eyes. I don’t want anyone to see that.” This happened almost three months ago and my sentence continued to haunt me. Exactly after that pic was posted on Facebook, my friend from India said to me, “Your social life looks so great on Facebook!” I remember saying to myself, “everyone’s social life looks great when they are hiding behind their blue Ray-Bans.”
Last few months had been extremely challenging for me on all fronts of my life. Misunderstandings, betrayals, abandonment, and disappointments from self and others had all happened to me at the same time. Coping with everything all at once seemed to be impossible. The only thing that kept me going was my meditation practice. On some days, I did not have the energy to even sit straight and meditate. The words of my spiritual Master, “Come back with the shield or on it!” echoed in my mind even more during this phase. How was I ever going to be a spiritual Spartan with extreme lack of interest and will to do anything? On some days, I was just lying on the floor staring into nothingness and losing my appetite with each passing day. In less than three months, I had lost 12 lbs . I honestly thought that this phase was not going to pass and it would only end with me. More than eight months had passed and I was navigating through one issue after another.
Most of you have read my previous post, “Transformation or Confusion?” so you will already know that during this period I was also experiencing a spiritual transformation or a spiritual shift within me. We all evolve continuously in our spiritual journey, which eventually leads to our spiritual awakening. I remember reading a beautiful quote by Deepak Chopra – “All great changes are preceded by chaos” and that is exactly what was going on with me. I was moving between spiritual points. According to my experience when one moves from one spiritual point to another, a lot of chaos, confusion, lack of interest, and pain is experienced. You are shedding your old skin and getting ready to start a new spiritual phase of your life. A lot of cleansing is happening within you. A spiritual shift is always a painful process no matter how beautiful and attractive words like spiritual awakening or spiritual enlightenment sound.
So what are these spiritual points that I talk about? All human beings have a spiritual anatomy that consists of the chakras or points that have concentrated divine energy. Each of this point has it’s own sub points. There are 13 main points that start at our heart and end at the back of our head. You can view this diagram here on page 16 of the book called “Towards Infinity.” (1) As our spiritual practice evolves, we move further along the path of these points and start experiencing the subtle energy or the transmission (Life Force) at these points.
When I look back today, it is clearer to me why my life was a roller coaster in last few months. In my case, most of my Samskaras (or the past impressions that were accumulated in me) had finally started surfacing with a severe intensity begging only to be released. It felt like all the past impressions stored within me so far had decided to leave their home at the same time and confront me. However, I was always reassured time and again that I was not the first one going through this and I will not be the last one to experience this. I was told that this is how the process of spiritual evolution worked and acceptance is the key.
I have personally observed that as we evolve spiritually, so do our problems. Does this mean spiritual evolution brings a lot of problems leading to pain in our lives? Yes and no! Spiritual awakening means you are becoming aware of your true nature. You are letting go of your old impressions, perceptions, lessons, beliefs, or even people that no longer serve your spiritual growth or hinder your spiritual evolution. This process is painful only because we are leaving our comfort zones to accomplish something bigger and higher and dive deeper into the spiritual realm. These are the growing pains of spiritual awakening.
It will stop being painful as soon as we accept the situation and surrender to Nature. Accepting and surrendering is not something we humans are good at. Holding on to the current situation means security and comfort for our ego even though we may be suffering due to it. Letting go, surrendering, forgiving, accepting, or simply being present in the moment can be the lessons that come your way during your spiritual awakening process. Each one of us gets sent different lessons and our only choice to move forward at a faster pace is to accept and learn these lessons as quickly as possible.
In my case, I was sent all these lessons at once. I had to learn how to accept, forgive, let go, and surrender all at the same time. People always advice us to forgive but nobody tells us how to forgive. They tell us to surrender but nobody tells us how to surrender. While these are the things that we all learn on our own, Nature always sends us enough tools to overcome every obstacle, spiritual or physical. Only we need to know how to find these tools and use them for our benefit. I will talk more about “tools during spiritual awakening” in the part 2 of this blog post.
For now, I am going to sign off by saying that as you proceed on your spiritual path, you will cross various points and experience several spiritual shifts throughout your life. Sometimes, crossing over from one point to another takes months or even years and at other times you are on the other side in a matter of minutes. It all depends on your faith, intensity of your spiritual practice, Nature’s grace, and most importantly your ability to surrender with love.
Remember, spiritual awakening does not happen as a separate process within you hidden from the whole world. It happens while you are very much a part of this world. Situations and people in our lives bring these lessons to us. How else are we going to learn? Sometimes, the lessons are painful but we need to know that we are all each other’s solutions and not problems. So do not react with hatred and anger when somebody wrongs you. If you do, then it only means that your ego is reacting towards the ego of another human being. It then becomes an ego war; the war of impressions or Samskaras.
So let’s stop magnifying our illusions and proceed like real spiritual Spartans! Let’s work on ourselves from a place of love rather than a place of fear. If you feel pain in your heart, it only means you are alive and your soul is sending you a signal to do something about it. When you start getting these signals, embrace that pain with grace. Pain passes through you gracefully, when you pass through pain gracefully!
…to be continued. Stay tuned for the part 2 of this post! I will talk more about how you can find tools during your spiritual awakening process. Wearing your Ray-Bans is definitely not going to be on that list! 🙂
~ be love
(1) Kamleshdaaji. “Fasting and Autophagy : Ancient Wisdom and Scientific Research Intersect.” Kamlesh D Patel, 24 Apr. 2017, daaji.org/fasting-and-autophagy-ancient-wisdom-and-scientific-research-intersect/.