Jan 7, 2024

Why Spiritual Awakening Is So Painful

In order to travel from a state of numbness to a state of joy and dynamic aliveness, you must first feel your way through all of the pain that you buried within.

When I truly started to engage in my deeper inner work, I cried daily for a period of 8 months.

There were days (maybe weeks?) where I felt like I was dying and/or completely losing my mind. I would go to bed with so much energy coursing through my body and mind that I felt like I might literally explode. And I have heard of many others going through near-identical experiences in this phase of the journey.

Like meditating in the middle of a bonfire, this phase often feels like a whirlwind of all that is untrue being burned off of you.

That doesn’t mean that this will happen for you (to that extent), but there will undoubtedly be something to feel through.

Another way to say this… is that when we first start down the path of awakening… we must start with the reversal of denial.

That could look like:

– Acknowledging how much pain, hurt, and sadness you have around how your childhood went

– Acknowledging all of the major events in your life that hurt so badly (that you didn’t have the tools, awareness, or safety to be with in the moment) that you simply swallowed and relegated to the proverbial basement of your psyche

– Acknowledging how much of a jerk you were to people when your heart was closed off to the world

– Acknowledging all of the ways that you violated your own boundaries… engaging in years of behaviour that, in retrospect, was self-abandoning

Whatever we reclaim from the light and begin to feel our way through, it can be challenging.

The ego can spin all of its usual stories of, ‘If I really let myself begin to feel this, I am afraid that I will never come out of it. I will just drown in it and the well will be bottomless.’

Of course, this is just the ego maintaining the status quo. It knows that you have it on its heels. That you are about to relieve your ego of some of its job duties… and it doesn’t want less power over you. It wants to continue to control you and run the show, thank you very much.

But the defence mechanisms that had you survive long enough to get you here are not the same tools that will get you to where you want to go.

From this vantage point, it is easy to have compassion for the parts of us that we have yet to truly be with.

Of course the majority of people are largely cut off from feeling sensation in their bodies when their bodies are where they have stored all of the pain, hurt, sadness, shame, guilt, frustrations, and devastations of the past.

Sometimes, the easiest way to get access to this backlog of pain is to simply use the truth as a scalpel.

To name the thing clearly, that brings up the accompanying emotional residue.

‘I’m really lonely.’

‘I miss them.’

‘Why did they have to leave me?’

‘I was actually a really unhappy child.’

‘I wanted to die every day.’

‘I didn’t want the marriage to end.’

‘I never got to tell them how I truly felt.’

‘I completely wasted these years of my life.’

‘Why can’t they just die already?’

‘Why did we have to lose our baby?’

‘I have hurt so many people.’

Whatever the thing is, it must be brought forth.

Well, it doesn’t have to be brought forth. But if you don’t it will simmer on a daily basis, out of your conscious awareness, and completely wreak havoc on your body and life.

It can remain simmering at a daily 2/10 (and then a 3… then a 4… then a 5…) forever… OR you can voluntarily turn up the volume on it for a short period of time and actually let it pass through you fully.

As someone who has lived both sides of the equation, I can personally attest to the latter strategy being the better one.

The unintegrated psychological and emotional content can run your life by you turning your back on it… or you can face it square on, befriend it, let the river start flowing again, and have your life transform for the better, towards your natural state of peace, love, joy, and abundance.

As always, the choice is yours.

Dedicated to your success,


Ps. If you benefited from this post, you will likely also enjoy checking out the following:

Are You Willing To Be Awake In Your Relationship?

How To Own Your Shadow Before It Owns You

Stretch Your Opposites



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