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Awakenings are hard, awful even.
I wish I was one of those people who’d had an amazing experience, who wanted to tell everyone about their “come to Jesus” moment and how amazing it was.
Mine was not…and apparently, I’m still not there yet.
I still get pissed as f*ck. I’m in this place made up of half peace and half chaos. I’ve spent months sifting through layer upon layer of the bullsh*t I told myself about myself, and what society had told me, and got down into the nitty-gritty truth of me—who I am at the soul level.
This shift in my psyche created other shifts in me as well, specifically within my empathic nature.
My intuition has always been strong, and what I had previously regarded as just “an ability to read people well” has been transformed into something more; not only am I noticing facial expressions, pupils dilating, body language, and the tone of your voice, but now, I’m also feeling the shifts in your energy, your emotions, the emotions of the entire room, and sometimes connecting with people across time and space. It’s annoying as hell.
My being has become an antenna. I get zapped with energy and emotion. I see, feel, and understand things that most others do not.
Sometimes, I’m okay with this and other times I’m not. Lately, it’s more of the latter, though I believe it’s better to feel more of something than nothing at all.
Living in a small southern city—especially one within the bible belt that is also a medical hub for surrounding areas—made it more difficult. No one speaks of personal spiritual awakenings—they just think you’re crazy or on meth (at least in my case).
There were sleepless nights, bouts of paranoia, and a ton of anxiety. I tried over-the-counter sleep aids, melatonin, and herbal teas. Nothing worked. I went to my doctor several times, and while my blood tests were normal, I still went through several prescriptions: two for sleeping and one for depression and anxiety, which only seemed to make matters worse; until we decided on Xanax. My stomach was constantly upset. The only time I didn’t have diarrhea was when I was constipated from the medications.
These were just the physical symptoms. Emotionally, I was a wreck.
I cut a lot of people out of my life, almost everyone, including distancing myself from family. I became somewhat of a recluse. I went to work, though working in a hospital setting only seemed to amplify my neurosis. I was in school, took online classes when I could, and at the very worst, only had to spend an hour or two with people. I couldn’t get away from people fast enough.
The time spent alone was just as horrible.
I knew something was “off,” I just didn’t know what, or how to fix it for myself…I kept thinking “this isn’t me.”
I made a choice to put myself back out into the social realm. I met someone with whom I felt connected to on a friendship level. It was difficult at first to be social again, but she didn’t make me feel like a weirdo. Her friendship led me to open my heart and connect on an emotional level—not just with her but others as well.
Eventually, things do get better.
As we adapt to these feelings, we can start living again. We need to find the balance within ourselves. We need our darkness to make love to our light. It’s okay to feel these emotions, process them, and start our rhythm once again. It’s not okay to stay stuck in them.
It took several years and many lessons before I understood five fundamental truths of my awakening:
1. Genuine connection is rare: When you find this, hold onto it. You’ll know when you do.
2. Boundaries are of the utmost importance: I require a lot of personal space, and I mean this quite literally. I mentally and physically put a bubble (think arms-length) around myself when I’m around others to protect my energy. I also require a lot of alone time to balance and recharge my own emotions and energy levels—being around people can be quite draining. People think I’m being anti-social, but I’m not. I created my own safe space, a sanctuary at my physical home, and a home within myself.
3. Synchronicity is everywhere: Sometimes, this can be maddening and piss you the f*ck off. Other times, it’s more like unicorns are sh*tting out rainbows made of glitter—you know, the good stuff. Whether these signs are awful or amazing, they show us that we’re on the right track.
4. To trust myself in what I’m feeling: These realizations didn’t come easy. I learned the hard way. I wasn’t protecting myself mentally, physically, or emotionally. It took me a long time to differentiate between my personal feelings and the feelings I was picking up from someone else.
I had to ask myself: “Where does this emotion come from?” “Is this feeling justified within me for the given circumstance?” If the answer is no, then the emotion is not mine. I wasn’t setting boundaries. Once I figured how to do this (it will be different for everyone), I found that in order to not drive myself crazy, I need trust: trust in myself—with all the thoughts, emotions, and energies I encounter—and to know that what is there is valid, it’s just a matter of where it’s coming from.
5. Community: The most difficult thing in this entire process was that I felt like I was on my own; that no one would understand or could relate to what I was going through. It wasn’t until the end of my process (and I’m still not done—I hope we never stop evolving) that I began to realize what was happening to me and started searching for others like me…and I found them. I found a conscious community that helped me understand that I’m not crazy, that everyone has a different awakening experience, and that I need to trust myself and trust in the process.
This was a difficult piece to write. I was afraid to put myself out there—to “out” myself, if you will. Most of you probably won’t understand and think this is all bullsh*t, but some of you just may—you are why I’m writing this. You are not alone; reach out and connect, somewhere, anywhere.