This bit was a guest post on another site awhile ago, but folks seems to be pretty wore out from this last month so it seems like a great time to share!
The path of enlightenment isn’t all sunshine and roses. It’s hard, and it’s important to acknowledge this fact so we’re a little less side-swiped when it’s time for the unpleasant bits. Pretending like something’s easy when it’s not doesn’t make it easier; it just makes those in the tricky parts feel bad for struggling. Waking up is very challenging, that’s part of why it’s such a valuable experience! Here are some things to expect:
You’ll find that the things you’ve held to be true – aren’t.
Attraction to a spiritual path usually begins with a realization regarding untruths in life. We face a whole lot of hooey from the moment we accept individual consciousness (realizing there is and “I” and a “them”). The hooey that’s tossed at us varies wildly depending on our circumstances, but it’s always there. “They” present life in their various ways, and there comes a point where we realize their way isn’t our way.
We need to carve our own paths, and we need to seek our own truths from within. Eventually we find our paths, and start to discover our own truths, but first the things we’ve held to be true will crumble to itty bitty bits of nonsense. It can hurt, but it is necessary to clear the old before creating the new – you wouldn’t want to build a shiny new building on a shabby old foundation, would you?
You’ll think you’ve gone b-a-n-a-n-a-s.
Once you start finding your new set of truths from within, you may feel a bit loopy. A friend of mine committed to a meditation practice, and a year into it suddenly thought she had fallen off of the proverbial deep end. She felt like she must have been slipped some kind of super long-lasting hallucinogen! Someone recommended a psychologist to her who luckily had been through this precious yet scary process. “You’re not going crazy, you are just waking up”, she reassured my friend. It will pass, making life before seem like a heavy sluggish dream.
You’re going to lose relationships.
A lot of people won’t understand what’s happening to you. You will lose some of these relationships. The amount of people paying attention and waking up is hugely increasing! While that’s wonderful, we are still very much a minority. Most people don’t get it, and some will judge you for it. You will outgrow these relationships. These lower-vibrational people will exit your life, and it can really hurt. Higher vibing folks will quickly replace them, and these new relationships will be aligned with you who have become. You will be accepted for exactly who you are. All of you! It’s good times, good times indeed.
You’ll face the dark night of the soul.
At some point you will likely go through “the dark night of the soul“. Like most imperative and hugely transformational processes in this crazy life – it will totally suck. It will happen after you have been on the path for a while. Life will go from easy breezy lemon squeezy, full of light, finally making sense – to udder and total darkness. It will feel like you are completely alone, and many times circumstances will adjust so you actually are. Mine sure did!
What is happening is a healing. Pains are rising that you have developed the ability to heal. The BIG ol’ buggers, some you’ve carried for lifetimes! Although we all say that we don’t want pain, we often also associate our pain with “who we are”. It will feel like you’re dying, as parts of you indeed are dying. Don’t fight it. Let it swoop you up, er, down. Trust that it’s temporary. Be the Observer. You got this. On the other side you will be the possessor of an unwavering joy-filled strength, it’s astounding.
You think you know, but you don’t know.
Waking up is hard. Anyone who tells you otherwise hasn’t actually experienced it yet. Which happens a lot. The process of enlightenment never ends, but man if it doesn’t feel like we’ve got it all figured out some days! Then, BOOM, we learn how much we have to learn. It can be frustrating, but at the same time, it’s really beautiful.
Without the sour you can’t appreciate sweet. You need rain to make roses. Valleys to appreciate vistas. Cocoons to make butterflies. Jerks to appreciate folks who are rad. All that good stuff. It’s hard, but that is what makes this process so darned gratifying! The juice is totally worth the squeeze. You got this.