We all have a somewhat vague idea of spiritual awakening.
In truth, it is one of those things in life that’s difficult to define. It’s an experience a very lucky few find in their lifetime.
However, we’re in an age of unprecedented consciousness. Information has never been so readily available. Distances between each other have become a trivial matter. And we are more aware of what is happening in every corner of the world.
In a way, it seems like the world has woken up from a stupor. We are slowly becoming aware of the things that aren’t good for us. We are more environmentally conscious. And we are beginning to understand humanity’s impact to our planet.
Different movements have been created to challenge the ways in which we have always seen things. We are constantly fighting battles against inequality, animal cruelty, and many more pressing issues.
Quite honestly, we have everything we need to achieve spiritual awakening. We just need to be brave enough to take it.
Spiritual awakening is such a complex, rich, soul-altering experience that words simply can’t take a hold of it. It’s something we can never truly define.
But let’s try anyway, to give justice to what “spiritual awakening” or “enlightenment” truly means. And let’s talk about how to recognize the signs you are experiencing it.
What is spiritual awakening?
There are various ways to approach spiritual awakening or enlightenment.
Some people define spiritual awakening as a “complete dissolution of one’s identity as a separate self with no trace of the egoistic mind remaining.”
Seems hard to grasp, right?
Another approach to enlightenment suggests that each one of us is already “awake,” with a few extra levels of consciousness for those truly desiring it. We are all, in a way, enlightened. It’s just a matter of how much and how deeply.
Personally, I believe that spiritual awakening is simply an experience that allows us to transcend outside of ourselves, and connect us to the universe in a profound and meaningful way.
No matter how you choose to define it, spiritual awakening is something a lot of people spend a lifetime searching for. Whether it be a search for meaning, a way to achieve ultimate happiness or even a way to elevate oneself from this material existence.
Your reasons don’t really matter much. It’s your openness to experience awakening that makes the difference.
How do you reach enlightenment?
Another complex question with an even more complex answer.
Everyone has different journeys in life. On the road to spiritual awakening, much is the same. You can’t compare your journey to enlightenment with anyone else’s.
I believe there is a beauty in that. Life happens when it chooses to. That is also part of the journey. Do you react? Or do you let yourself go with the flow? We all have different reactions, and different versions of reality.
However, there are some ways you can start allowing yourself to open up to spiritual awakening.
Find your true identity
Are you who you are and not who society tells you to be? There are many factors that can stop us from truly knowing who we are. Peer pressure and generalized ideas of success can confuse us from our true identities. So ask yourself, are you doing the things you do because you yourself want to? Are you living your life on your own terms and not anyone else’s?
Don’t constrain yourself in a box of your idealized sense of self. Let your emotions run through you like water. Dig deep into your most basic instincts. Allow your body and your heart to take over. What is it that you truly want? Who do you really want to be?
When you constantly challenge yourself and your identity, you allow your spirit to awaken in profound ways.
Start accepting yourself completely
Once you figured out your own unique identity, it’s time to do the harder step. And that is accepting yourself completely. This is a journey in itself. There will be days you are comfortable in your own skin. Other days will be more challenging. However, you need to start accepting that you have weaknesses and flaws. You also need to start appreciating your own unique strengths.
We are so used to labeling our emotions between positive and negative. We magnify and show off our “positive” emotions (happy, excited, proud) to the world, and hide our “negative” emotions (sad, anxious, grief), even to ourselves. And we live in a society where we are constantly told to be positive.
Part of spiritual awakening is accepting that everything you feel, how you think, and how you act – can’t be labeled.
Slowly remove yourself from material possessions
These days, we are so attached to our things. We want houses, cars, and any material possession that proves our “success.” If we don’t have these things, we are failing. But that is entirely incorrect.
It is our attachment to the material world that stops us from becoming awake. It is important to realize this: You have needs. But you are not your needs. Don’t let objects define who you are.
Embody the love you want to have
One constant struggle we have in life is our need to get validation from the love of others. However, when you achieve spiritual awakening, you will learn to be enough for yourself. And the first way to do this is to try to be the love you are seeking. You shouldn’t love anyone more than you love yourself.
Before you can have healthy and meaningful relationships, you need to love yourself fully. Only then can you express love and not take anything away from yourself.
Since childhood, we have been programmed to seek approval from others. We did things to make our parents happy, then we did things that society told us will make us happy.
Spiritual awakening is about letting go of this need for outside approval. When you are awake, you do not seek love, because you know it is within you.
Signs you are becoming awake or enlightened:
1. Your belief system is changing according to you.
It’s not that you know better. In fact, you start admitting you know less. It’s just that your belief systems are changing according to your own life discoveries.
The things you’ve learned and lived by for years are beginning to change. You’ve started to think outside of your own comfort zone.
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What’s more, you are letting go of the lessons that haven’t served you well. You’re starting to see the world in new eyes. And you’ve never felt more alive and in touch of yourself.
2. You want to discover yourself more.
There’s a new sense of curiosity in you. You find yourself wanting to delve deeper into self-discovery, wellness, and personal development.
What’s more, you are more open to things you wouldn’t have tried in the past. Spiritual awakening is about becoming the best version of yourself. And so, you are drawn to all the things that will lead you to your best self.
This could be anything from mental, emotional, or spiritual betterment. You might start becoming more interested in emotional therapy, self-help books or having a better and stronger mind and body.
3. You start becoming more interested in freedom and less in material possessions.
Your goals and desires are starting to change. You are now less interested in accumulating more things. In fact, you feel guilty about the material things you have and you start wanting to live a simpler life.
Instead, you want more meaningful life experiences. You may want to travel and explore the world. And you start questioning your past desire to “have” more. These days, you’re realizing that true happiness doesn’t depend on how many things you own but how you own yourself.
4. You’re experiencing sadness, guilt, and deeper emotions.
The road to spiritual awakening is not smooth sailing. Truthfully, it is riddled with inner turmoil. Because you start questioning your belief systems, past choices, your current relationships, and even your career, you can’t help but feel sadness, guilt, and confusing emotions.
These unpleasant psychological reactions are common following the onset of enlightenment.
It’s a process of letting go, moving on, and having a new future outlook. It may be difficult. But try to embrace it. Feel every emotion – even the negative ones. This “release” is necessary. It’s healthy. And it will allow you to achieve a lighter sense of self.
5. You feel more synchronized to the world around you.
Swiss philosopher, Carl Jung, introduced us to the idea of synchronicity;
“Synchronicity: A meaningful coincidence of two or more events where something other than the probability of chance is involved.”
This synchronicity allows us to be more connected to the things we can’t necessarily control. It is about accepting that things happen in coincidences, and these have acausal connections in our lives.
In short, you start letting go of a deep desire to control what is happening around you. Instead, you develop a mentality that things happen in the material world so that you can connect to them via your psyche. Again, this allows you to feel lighter and alleviates false pressure to achieve the wrong things.
6. You empathize more with others.
Another beautiful thing about being enlightened is that you become less self-absorbed and more attuned to others around you.
Your spiritual awakening has allowed you to be more connected to nature – the earth around you and everything and everyone on it.
And this renewed “shared” sense of being allows you to become more compassionate to people around you. You feel more attuned to how they feel, a willingness to share their experience and empathize with them.
7. You feel more alive.
Gone are the days you feel lost and confused about your meaning and existence. Now that you have spiritually awoken, you feel more alive.
You feel more, desire more, want more and yet you are happier with less. It’s a unique feeling of transcendence, of removing yourself from fear of death or failure.
Now, you have achieved the balance of existing in humility while wanting to get more out of life. You experience things with more realness. And in a way, it feels as you can touch and grasp happiness and contentment in your hands.
You are more connected to your inner spirit and to life itself.
8. You want to be involved in social causes or movements.
You feel that you can do more. It’s a desire you’ve found burning inside of you more and more these days.
Watching someone else making a difference out there is no longer enough for you. You want to be that person. You want to make a real change. Not just say it, or plan it – but actually do it.
If you’ve joined a cause or a movement recently, and have started prioritizing you involvement – then you’ve found a deep sense of purpose that you only get when you’ve awakened spiritually.
9. You’ve recently faced extreme misfortune, but you’ve come out of it stronger.
For a lot of people, spiritual awakening can start at the wake of a misfortune. People have lost their jobs, loved ones, their homes – and found the emotional trauma enough to induce awakening.
Because spiritual awakening doesn’t always start as a pleasant experience. In fact, emotional trauma, even near-death experiences, can serve as a catalyst for enlightenment.
After all, turning to religion is an escape many people turn to when they’ve been pushed to their limits. In the same way, you can become enlightened after going through extreme emotional or mental ordeal.
10. You’ve become more aware of your negative habits.
All of these psychological reactions and lessons made you reflect on your old negative habits.
Have you started noticing what was wrong in your “past” life? Are you becoming more and more aware about the negative implications of your lifestyle?
If you are, and you are starting to create big changes that you feel is necessary, then you’re on the onset of spiritual awakening. Part of the process is challenging the ways in which you’ve lived you life – and noticing the drastic change need to undergo.
Your life is about to change
Once you start your journey to enlightenment, you will undergo a change unlike any other you’ve experienced before. Look at this as an arousal in spirit. It isn’t the kind of arousal you’ve experienced with your body and mind.
It is something that transcends all of that. The glorious feeling of spiritual awakening lies in “knowing” that you are capable of strong emotions – confidence, emotional healing, even a magnified feeling of all your senses.
Your fears will be reduced. You will be at constant bliss, knowing that the universe works through you.