“We are now living in an era of rapid acceleration of the phenomenon of spiritual awakening. The truth is that awakening is absolutely available to every single human being on the planet right here, right now. Enlightenment is our most natural state.” -TJ Woodward
I have consciously been on my spiritual path since 1954. And throughout this time I’ve had many awakenings (some traditions call them born again experiences), and falling back asleep again.
In the early days of my journey I believed that I was a sinner saved by grace, and that the road to heaven was paved with signposts that kept me in a state of striving to please an external God.
The peace that I felt was offset by an underlying anxiety of trying to acquire the qualities of love, compassion, patience, self-control, etc., so that I could measure up to the qualities espoused by the bible and demonstrated by Jesus.
Growing in grace for me meant adding these qualities so that I could become a “good” christian and please God. In any area of life where I felt a failure in becoming so, as you might imagine, I experienced a lot of shame and guilt,
While I did experience growth in several aspects of these qualities, I couldn’t seem to overcome my explosive anger. It controlled a large part of my life, and seemed to be imbedded in my DNA. In trying to find some relief from the pain my explosiveness caused others and myself, I was tempted to agree with the comedian, Flip Wilson, who was famous for the saying, “the devil made me do it!”
After years of trying to heal my anger through, prayer, fasting, reading my bible and church attendance, fortunately, in frustration and desperation I finally gave up.
What giving up looked like for me was, instead of blaming and guilting myself at my daily episodes of anger, I simply accepted I couldn’t change it and if it was going to be done, something bigger than my self-will had to do it.
So, instead of the remorse, guilt, shame and blame which was my habit to heap on myself, following each episode I began forgiving and loving myself.
More importantly, I leaned into trusting the Holy Spirit to do the healing work. Over time I began experiencing a gradual lessening of the frequency and heated discharge of anger.
The Dawn of Awakening is Now
Over time my understanding has evolved from a sinner saved by grace to my current state of consciousness. I now believe that we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
I have come to the realization that we are created in the image of our Creator—Source Energy, Divine Intelligence, Universe, Good, God, or whatever name you have for Higher Power—and therefore, every person is a spiritual being. Every person is innately good. And every person is a potential Christ.
The good news of the gospel for me and for many others is, we’re waking up to the truth and discovering that we’re already perfect, whole, and complete.
I love the elegant way Eric Butterworth, author of “Discover the Power Within You, states this idea, “The exciting thing is that wherever you may be along the way of unfoldment and self-realization, no matter what the problem or challenges you may face, there is always more in you, the mystery of God in you, the Christ in you—which means your potential for healing, for overcoming, for prosperity. There is no limit!”
If you accept that as true for you as it is for me, could it be that rather than having to add qualities, the journey is about dismantling the beliefs that cover the qualities of love, compassion, beauty and brilliance that we are in truth?
Think about this, our souls are on a relentless continuous sacred journey toward freedom, toward realizing the perfection that we are.
What if the beliefs we have acquired from parents, teachers, religion, our peers and society cover up the light, and essence of who we truly are?
What if holding on to the beliefs that are no longer serving us, actually are preventing us from experiencing a life that abounds in the fullness of joy and strength for mind, body, and soul?
What if the abundant life that Jesus talked about was about shifting from lower consciousness to the higher plane of God-consciousness within? As he is reported to have said, “Unless a person is born from above (awakened), it’s not possible to see what I’m pointing to—to God’s kingdom.” John 3 (MSG)
The scripture informs us that the kingdom isn’t about material things, but it is within us and it’s about having a sense of peace, completeness, freedom, meaning, fulfillment, joy, and of being enough?
Whether we are Baptist, Catholic, Buddhist, or New Thought, we are all on the path whether we know it or not. As the mystics remind us, the spiritual path represents the process of becoming, whereby the soul remembers itself and the self discovers it’s true identity as spirit.
There is something within every individual that is a motivating, uplifting force. And that something is trying to help us achieve all that we can conceive and believe, even when we are not aware of its presence.
It’s a series of gradual awakenings. The writer Anais Nin put it this way “There are few human beings who receive the truth complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, like a mosaic.”
A spiritual life is not a life that is answered in the future. It’s the life that is revealed to you in the present moment, one day, one moment, one shift at a time. Don’t resists and run away from the shifts in perspective that occur. Listen, lean into the experience, and heed the whispers.
7 Spiritual Principles to Support Your Awakening Journey
The following summarized and modified spiritual principles are inspired from TJ Woodward’s book, Conscious BEING, Awakening to your True Nature:
1. There’s nothing “wrong” with you. Until we can look at someone and see the perfection that is at their core, we are not seeing them clearly.
2. There’s only one of us here. See every single person you encounter as yourself. Think of yourself and the other as “us” or “we” rather than seeing a separate “you” or “they.”
3. Nothing outside of you needs to change. If we feel resistance or unhappiness about anything, all we need to change is our view or our relationship to it in order to be at peace. Our happiness is not dependent on anything outside ourselves needing to change. Therefore, accept the trying moments as learning experiences that hold gifts and blessings for your life.
4. God is within you. When you listen carefully , that inner voice will guide you. We all have direct access to the love, intelligence, and guidance of that source from within.
5. The only prayer is thank you. Use prayer to help illuminate your way. When we shift our perspective to gratitude, infinite possibilities open up in our lives.
6. Everyone is perfect, just as they are. Our judgment and perspective of others can give away to more compassion and understanding, for ourself and for others when we remember that if we had their life experience, we would be exactly as they are. They’re being the perfect ______(fill in the blank with the name of the person with whom we are upset).
7. We’re not here to get good…only to become real. It has been said, “The spiritual life is not a theory; We have to
live it.” But as the Skin Horse in the story, The Velveteen Rabbit said, when asked about being real, “… Once you are real, you cannot become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
OMG! Right now as I am writing this post (Wednesday night), I heard in the background on TV the program My Last Days. This young lady, Claire Wineland, who has cystic fibrosis was speaking about death, her own. Which she said, “May be rapidly approaching.”
Since I was focusing on writing I only heard the end of her story. But, according to the doctors she was dyng with perhaps only a year left.
However, the energetic tone of her voice captured my attention, and as I turned around to look at who was talking, she was speaking through nasal tubes with an oxygen tank by her side.
To paraphrased what I was hearing and seeing from her infectious sparkling eyes and voice, “None of us can control when we die, but we can control how we live. Happiness is not out there, it is within.
“This is not to say that I’m not in pain, that I don’t suffer, that I’m not lonely, but the most important element of being alive is living a life that you can be proud of in the moment.”
Need I say more? She is absolutely a witness in real time to the concept that we are more than our bodies.
Can we agree that she is a true example and points us to what it means to awaken to the importance of being real and consciously living a life you can be proud of versus just trying to be “good.”
Let this be a vivid reminder that through all of our trials, to remember the gift: we are being propelled to wholeness by our Soul.
With that being said, I’d like to invite each one of us to:
Write down your thoughts in a journal, so you can go back at a later time and see the way and the path you traveled through your various stages of awakening .
And remember, “It is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27
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