The beginning of a spiritual awakening is often a crude ending.
Though we imagine it to be a serene process through which we become acquainted with our innermost selves, it is often the opposite.
This process does not comfort you to rest; it awakens you with a fire.
Most people embark on their awakening journey in the aftermath of what is referred to as a catalyst event: a breakup, job loss, or the passing of a beloved family member. It’s at this moment that our discomfort reaches a tipping point, and we are forced to reconcile the fact that we can no longer go on as we are.
It’s at this point that we often start searching—for truth, for dogma, for information, for knowledge, but mostly, for ourselves. What do we want, and what will it take to get it? Must we live like this forever? Is there a better, easier way to approach the world and our role in it?
A true spiritual awakening typically happens in three parts, and the realizations usually occur in the following order:
1. Something needs to change, and I must be the one to change it.
The first and most formidable step is really a wake-up call. It’s the moment at which we realize that something in our life needs to be amended, shifted, or eliminated, and we are the ones responsible for making sure that happens.
The very first step of an awakening is the assumption of responsibility. When we recognize that nobody else will change our lives, nor is it their job to, we begin the important (albeit humbling) work of doing it on our own.
2. My habits, beliefs, and behaviors are creating my life experience.
Once we do take responsibility for our lives and begin to make positive changes, another truth becomes clear: our habits, beliefs, and behaviors are creating—if not at minimum influencing—our life experience more than any external circumstance is.
When we start to reclaim our power, we recognize that our potential is truly limitless, and we can create precisely the type of life we dream of having. The process of waking up is akin to realizing that we fell asleep in the driver’s seat, but we’re still behind the wheel.
3. I can use my power for the greater good.
When we recognize just how much power we have to create what we want to experience in life, we often use it to solve our own problems first.
However, the final step of a spiritual awakening is when we recognize that we want to use our newfound power for the sake of the greater good. When we only want to help ourselves, we have found our egos. When we want to help others, we have found our souls.
The way we may go about doing this varies. We may simply want to share information that will help others heal and improve themselves. We may want to show others greater compassion, or even embark on philanthropic work. In other cases, we may simply shift our careers or our spare time to get involved in activities and practices that promote well-being.
Regardless, it’s this three-step process that leads people from lives of deep frustration and regret to empowerment and fulfillment.