You might wonder and ask yourself what’s spiritual awakening?How does it happen or how does it feel to experience spiritual awakening? Well, spiritual awakening is a realization or inspiration about the connection with an entity or entities beyond the immediate and physical world of God or other intangible sacred spirit.Going through a spiritual awakening is one of the most confusing, lonely, alienating, but also supremely beautiful experiences in life.
The unsettling and equally beautiful thing about spiritual awakenings is that they occur at the least expected times. There is no way you can plan for them. They lurch into your life and shake everything up like tornadoes. But the hidden gift buried deep within them is that they occur at the precise time that you need them the most.It causes a person’s life, abundance, happiness, maybe even health to transform at a rapid rate. This isn’t always a smooth or pleasant journey. However, a spiritual awakening can change your life for the better… permanently.
You might be curious to know what activates spiritual awakenings.The answer is that innumerable circumstances can trigger this process! There really is no one answer.Spiritual awakenings can happen at any moment or period in your life. They can be spontaneous, but they can also be triggered by major life changes, illnesses, tragedies, and traumas such as life-threatening illnesses, car accidents, divorces, war, midlife crises, and much more.
The spiritual awakening process is complex, multi-layered, and different for everyone. In reality, it cannot be fit into neat categories.With that known and understood, let’s look at the stages one can go through in experiencing spiritual awakening:
STAGE 1 – UNHAPPINESS, DESPONDENCY, AND FEELING LOST
In this stage, you experience the aforementioned Dark Night of the Soul. This is a time of confusion, disconnection, alienation, depression, and great unhappiness with life. You are searching for something, but you don’t quite know what. There is a great looming emptiness inside of you. This stage either emerges spontaneously or due to a life crisis (e.g. breakup, divorce, death, trauma, illness, major life change).
STAGE 2 – SHIFTING PERSPECTIVES
You start to perceive reality in a totally different way. In this stage, you start seeing through the lies and delusions propagated by society. You feel unhappy with life, disturbed by the suffering you see and hopeless to the ills of the world. You no longer see life as you once did in your previous state of complacent unawareness.
STAGE 3 – SEEKING ANSWERS AND MEANING
There must be a point to all this, right? In this stage, you’re asking all the deep questions. You are in search of your life purpose, spiritual destiny, and the meaning of life itself. You will start dabbling in different metaphysical, self-help, and esoteric fields in search for answers and truth.
STAGE 4 – FINDING ANSWERS AND EXPERIENCING BREAKTHROUGHS
After a lot of soul searching, you’ll find a few teachers, practices, or belief systems that ease your existential suffering.(Beware: a lot of spiritual bypassing can occur in this stage.) You will feel a sense of expansion as old patterns dissolve and your true self (soul) begins to emerge. You may have a number of mystical experiences or brief moments of satori (enlightenment) that give you a glimpse into the ultimate nature of reality. This is a time of joy, hope, connection, and awe.
STAGE 5 – DISILLUSIONMENT AND FEELING LOST AGAIN
Life is about movement. With the spiritual awakening process, there is always an ebb and a flow. In this stage, you become bored and tired of your spiritual teachers or practices. You may become disillusioned by the faux spiritual BS out there and crave for something deeper. You may have even experienced long periods of connection with the Divine, only to become separated again (this is normal). Understandably, you’ll feel disturbed and deeply upset by this experience. Additionally, while you may have experienced many mental/emotional/spiritual breakthroughs, they might feel superficial. You crave for authenticity and for deep spirituality that permeates your life and transforms every part of you. The unhappiness and stagnation you feel will motivate you to go in search for more.
STAGE 6 – DEEPER INNER WORK
In this stage, you’re not interested in dabbling in feel-good spiritual philosophies or surface practices anymore. The abiding pain you feel inside motivates you to do deep inner work. You may become a serious student of meditation, mindfulness, ritual, inner child work, shadow work, body work or various other transpersonal philosophies.
STAGE 7 – INTEGRATION, EXPANSION, JOY
Integration means taking the spiritual lessons you’ve learned from your inner work and applying them to your daily life. Integration happens both naturally and consciously as a habit in deep spiritual practice. In this stage, you’ll experience the most profound and long-lasting changes deep within. Many people experience prolonged mystical experiences and periods of unity with the Divine in the integration phase. Remember that enlightenment, or full self-realization, is never guaranteed: we can strive for it, but it is ultimately a gift from Life. Nevertheless, profound peace, love, and joy emerge and are felt in this stage. You may feel ready to be a spiritual mentor or role model in your community and pass on your insight to others. Life will become less about you and more about We. Your perspective will expand and you will start seeing things from the big picture. Above all else, you will feel connected, at peace with yourself, and deeply aligned with life.
Spiritual Awakening Signs.
Spiritual awakening signs are not only emotional but also psychological and even physical.They include the following;
You feel as though your life is false
Everything that you have believed, built, and worked towards seems to be false. Your life doesn’t feel as though it’s your own. You no longer feel like yourself – nearly everything you once enjoyed no longer brings you meaning or satisfaction.
You craving for meaning and purpose
You deeply desire to find the meaning of your life. You have no idea what your purpose is, but you want to find it desperately. There’s a sense that something is “missing” inside of you (like a part of your soul).
You begin asking deep questions
Questions such as “Why am I here?” “What’s the purpose of life?” “What happens after we die?” “Why do people suffer?” arise. You begin thinking more philosophically. Such profound thoughts may greatly disturb you as you don’t know the answers.
You realize that a lot of what you’ve been taught is a lie
You start to see how many beliefs, feelings, and values are not actually your own, but other people’s or inherited from your culture.
You feel completely lost and alone
Nothing in your life seems to make sense anymore. You feel as though you’re wandering through an endless wilderness. As a vagabond, you feel completely alone and cut off from people. You struggle to relate to those you once felt close to (i.e. your friends, work colleagues, and family members).
You see through the illusions of society
Materialism, success, and profit no longer mean anything to you. You start feeling as though you’re a cog in the machine of society.
You see how unhappy most people are
You awaken to the unhappiness and suffering of others. You may start to explore activism or read more about the human condition. It is tormenting for you to realize how much pain there is in the world.
You want to ‘purge’ your life
You’re sick and tired of feeling stranded, depressed, and hopeless. Suddenly, you feel the need to simplify and declutter your life. This could mean cutting ties with toxic people, reassessing your habits, throwing out old things, relocating to a new job or place to live, or even giving away most of what you own.
You begin experiencing deep empathy and compassion
As you start paying more attention to the many hardships faced by humanity and nature alike, you develop more compassion. Your inherent empathy is awakened and you may find it hard to cope with the intensity of your feelings. This is a pivotal point in your inner transformation: you either numb the pain you feel with addictions, or you find healthy ways to accept and express your emotions.
You desire to be alone
You crave solitude. Whereas once you may have been extroverted, now you experience the introverted side of your nature. You spend a lot of time introspecting and enjoying the silence. At every cost, you try to reduce social contact. At this point, you may lose touch with many old friends.
You become aware of your old negative habits
You are painfully aware of your flaws and destructive habits. Within you arises a strong urge to wipe the slate clean and start over.
You experience anxiety and/or depression
You may go through deep bouts of existential depression or persistent anxiety. The shock of plunging into your awakening leaves you feeling unstable. You may be misdiagnosed with a mental illness. Uncertainty and fear follow you around everywhere.
You become more sensitive
Everything impacts you more. You feel the energy of others more strongly, the pain of your loved ones more intensely, and the difficulties in life deeper than ever before. At the same time, you feel a gloriously enhanced connection with animals and nature. You start feeling more at home within the natural world (rather than the manmade world)
You deeply want to understand who you are
Endless questions arise about your identity and your life, for example, “Who am I?” “Why was I born?” “What am I here to do?” “What is the purpose of my existence?” As a result, you begin reading many self-help books and spiritual texts.
You start to love unconditionally
As the barriers of the ego breakdown, you begin to love other people without expectations or conditions. You lose interest in drama, conflict, and anything that perpetuates hatred.