The Agony of Awkening
I got inspired to write this piece a few days ago when a friend posted this image on facebook.
I'm so glad I waited. Because just a few moments ago another friend sent me a message with a link to his first steemit piece.
My friend is the first one to tell you he's fucked up. He's a hard drug addict. He suffers immensely and wants to die a lot except for his son and the fact that he desperately wants to live to see himself become the person he feels he's meant to be. He's also extremely conscious and aware. He can tell you eloquently all about his own suffering and his condition.
I see some kind of dark beauty in his story. I think every single human being can relate to his story because we all suffer. However, the average human being isn't really aware of their suffering. Have you ever known people who are so simple and so unconscious that they walk around in a seeming fog? They're not really aware that they're alive. They're just going through the motions. They just go along carrying out their daily routines. When I first started "waking up," I abhorred these people. I thought they were the bane of my and all of humanity's existence. I wanted to shake them and slap them around a bit and scream, "WAKE UP!" As my healing and awakening progressed I found myself envying them greatly. I don't know about you, but in my own process of awakening I have indeed gone through phases in which I envy the simple low consciousness people I've known. It must be so nice to just do what your parents and their parents did all day long, just running the program, not aware you're running it. Sure, your senses are dulled. You're not experiencing life as fully. But surely you suffer much less!
The first thing we become aware of when we"wake up" is how much we're suffering. We become aware of our bodies talking to us and telling us what's wrong. It's as though all the shunned parts of ourselves are waiting in a really long line for their turn to be seen and experience some love. And then one by one we see them and are horrified.
As a person who has been drawn to love and light my whole life, I couldn't wait to get myself on this journey of enlightenment I heard about. But in my own healing and journey of consciousness I have been flabbergasted at the depth of my own shadows. Over and over again I've plummeted into the depths of them. My healers and teachers would extol the virtues of doing this work and assure me that this is where my beauty and creativity is. I was not so sure. I never would have chosen to "do my shadow work." (The little I wouldn't anyway.) It felt more like it was happening to me and through me and I didn't really have any control over it. I just had to confront these programs that were running in my life. They weren't really me. Or were they? I didn't choose them. Or did I? Over and over again I discovered a part of myself that I shunned and hated. I discovered deep fear, I discovered ways of my being in the world that I hated and found putrid. And just when I would transform that shadow I would be plummeted right down the spiral of healing again and discover another shunned part of myself that I hated.
Nicks' journey is a magnified version of most of humanity's condition. It doesn't take long after you talk to Nick to realize that it's his consciousness that brings him the deepest suffering. When we see the inner workings of our minds we feel insane. It's because we are. Humanity is crazy, y'all. I don't think I need to tell anyone that. And when we start to become conscious we see the absolute insanity of it all right up close and personal in our very own minds. This is why yoga and Network Chiropractic are absolutely imperative to everyone in the process of awakening. We need tools. We need tools from people who have already been here and done it. Thank God that Yogis sat around figuring this stuff out for thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of years. Thank God we have Donny Epstein's book The Twelve Stages of Healing to guide us along the process so we know we're not alone and we're not crazy and that we're actually in the process of becoming less crazy. Well, that last part is optional. If we don't take the right steps then we can just go crazy rotting in our own minds. Other bigger parts of our beings need to be engaged to guide us through this process to a bigger, grander way of being.
I haven't known anyone on the spiritual journey, "the path," the journey of awakening, of enlightenment, whatever you want to call it, who has not suffered greatly. Don't we all in some kind of weird way sort of love the drama of it? It's sort of romantic, isn't it, doing the work of alchemy? We love it and we hate it. But we could never stop doing it. Once you're on this road of awakening you cannot turn back. (Trust me, I've wondered if it's possible.) We're here to do it. We're doing it for everyone who's alive and who's not alive. We're doing it for everyone who will be alive some day, and we're doing it for All-That-Is. We're transforming the shit of everyone who came before us, and we're doing it right inside of our own beings. It's magical. Each of us are Alchemists and Magicians. And deep down we know it and it thrills us. We're all grand beings riding around in these body vehicles, and under it all we're exhilarated to be doing this work.
No one wants to suffer. We hate watching others suffer. But in this life our suffering is our fuel. It makes us grand and expansive. It's probably the best teacher there is. A great part of our suffering comes from shunning pain. It's acceptance of the pain that carries us through to the next stage of awakening.