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June 2, 2019

The Loneliness of Awakening

I’ve always heard that the “path to awakening” can be destructive. It can take you to hell and toss you back in a field of beauty and happiness. It’s an ongoing duality of wonder and sadness, discovery and fear, resistance and acceptance. Those who meditate and search for the answers within have probably experienced all that and much more.

Once we are in this state of discovery and wonder, we often have a tendency to want someone to enjoy the wondrous view with us. Doesn’t it feel sad when you have to see the most beautiful sunshine on your own? Many would say so. Their first instinct might be to take a picture of that scenery and share it on social media. The world needs to see this beauty! I need to share the excitement of this moment! And so we continue riding the happy train of oversharing.

That’s a very common thing to do, as a matter of fact. It’s simply human nature to seek connection, to share beauty and happy moments with those we love. When we are talking about pretty birds and sunshine, it’s easy to share, since most people are willing to appreciate your message. They share as well, and you like their experience. It may feel fulfilling at some level.

But once you hit the process of true awakening you will soon find out, hopefully not the hard way, that the more you share the beauty of enlightenment and new discoveries, you don’t get much reaction from those with whom you just shared sunshine pictures. You hear only crickets.

Awakening to a higher consciousness is a lonely process. You might want to scream to the world, to show everyone around you what you’ve found, to make them feel the same state of grace you have felt. I was in that wagon for a long, long time. Calling friends or family who were struggling and saying, “You need to listen to this podcast.” “I found just the perfect book and meditation for you.” And then I’d hear a “thank you for thinking of me.” Except that they didn’t connect to my excitement at the same level. How blind can they be? The answer they seek is right at that book! Frustration, frustration, frustration.

After years of struggling with being an oversharer of exciting ideas, discoveries, and positivity, I was like a car that had just stalled. The words of comfort suddenly disappeared. The list of advice in the back of my mind simply stayed there, hidden, and unshared. And I just listened. I threw a few “I’ll keep you in my prayers” here and there. I started accepting. Accepting that others would never follow me. That I would be on the road alone.

Unfortunately, your ego is the one that pushes you to “preach,” to talk about spirituality to others, to explain, to make assumptions that they are better off following your advice. Your ego is judgmental. You notice how others have been in the wrong and you may try to bite your tongue, but you know you will still judge their choices. I still struggle with that, but I remind myself of my place. My place is to give love and understanding. And like the Chinese proverb says, “When the student is ready, the Master shall appear.” If the student is ready or not, it is not up to you to decide. It’s their own journey, their own choice.

The bottom line is nobody can ever enlighten or awaken someone. They need to leave their matrix of illusion on their own. They need to learn to shed their own skins off. It doesn’t matter how long it will take them to get there (or if they ever will). It is still okay to be awake when they are not. It doesn’t change a thing and it definitely won’t define your degree and level of spirituality.

Awakening to a higher consciousness is being lonely while experiencing grace. It’s walking along your own path with detachment and discernment but in a constant state of wonder. It’s a road worth riding regardless of the conditions, regardless of the company. It’s the best experience and the worst experience of your life at the same time. But it’s something that can only be felt in your own hearts. It’s personal, unique, and unshareable.


Agnes Dodge, Reiki Master, writer.


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