I’ve been working toward having a spiritual awakening ever since I quit my problem-drinking ten years ago, minus a couple of years for brief relapses. Even though I was an observant Christian, I wasn’t having any experiences that were making me feel connected to a source power. I was behaving a bit better, but I still didn’t feel integrated. I was really just going through the motions which today I realize was helpful, but I still wasn’t achieving my desired outcome.
In 2019 I experienced a shift after reading parts of A Course In Miracles. I found a used book online that was a very old edition, before the paragraphs got numbered the way a Bible is, and I still think it is a magical book that I attribute to the start of my awakening. I began to understand and experience the connection that was lacking in my more mainstream attempts to be spiritual and to heal what I didn’t understand at the time.
The following year when the pandemic hit, I was setup to shoot out of fertile ground. I had been developing through acts of surrendering my pride, and was even fasting for the first time during that season of Lent. I grew exponentially and I developed a consistent meditation practice. This built up my confidence and gave me the most wonderful sense of autonomy.
The year after that, my father passed away. I never could have even fathomed his demise, and it still doesn’t seem real a lot of the time. While the time leading up to his death showed the writing on the wall, I also thought there would be one more intervention, maybe that time lasting and him miraculously healing until a more natural exit from this plane.
This brings me to today. The one year anniversary of my dad’s passing. As I surface from an intoxicating period of deep and incredulous grief, I manage to find gratitude for the new eyes I now see a new world through, where Nature and Art heal, and where people don’t hold as much power over me as they used to. Conversely, I love all people as my siblings in this incredible earthly experience, and this is what I understood from reading and finding solace through ACIM those first few days of receiving it. It feels like my spiritual awakening has come full circle.
I’ve also healed a lot of my judgements, realizing that they all stemmed from judging myself first, by putting value on the “good” and “bad” days. Now I believe that it’s not about “good” or “bad” – it’s about surviving and carrying on. I can see through my recovery process how putting weight on “good” and “bad” moments has crippled me.
I had an incredible dream last night, where I believe my dad, who has had the experience of crossing over, sent me a beautiful message. In my dream I held in my hands two manila envelopes as I stood on trial before God, presumably at the end of my life. I was instructed to open the envelopes, and see their contents, which was to be all of the evidence against me. I would have to look at all the actions I took throughout my life, and correct them.
I poured out the contents in the envelopes and looked down. They were all pictures of me with my friends or selfies where I liked the way I looked. I was astounded. My dream ended after that, and I was left further convicted that life is about living to the best of our abilities – the exchange and continuation of energy.
My spiritual awakening has shown me that the key to life is connection. In order to have that connection to my higher self, source power, and my communities, I need to let go of condemning the “bad” and identifying with the “good”. All of the actions that I judged as immoral in my behaviour I recognize today as simply being survival mechanisms which stopped serving a purpose as I began to develop mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and even physically.
Now that I can place value on connecting, and take the emphasis off of opinions, I discovered how to be empathetic. Having empathy has healed me tremendously, and is also one of the most important traits I need to have as a coach. I can give my attention to others today, instead of constantly focusing on my own thoughts and feelings and worrying about my optics.
I still struggle with insecurities, but after coming out of a deep grieving process this past year I can see that I took too many things too seriously. Now that I know what really matters in life, I can more easily choose positive thinking. All I really have is one day at a time, and on this day I have the capacity to practice mindfulness and gratitude.