What happens when you have an awakening? A spiritual awakening. It’s something that happens to people all the time and can bring with it some profound life changes if handled in the right way, but it can also be overwhelming, even terrifying if you don’t know what’s happening to you or how to process it all without getting lost in your own thoughts. How do you go about processing a spiritual awakening? And what do you do once you are spiritually awakened? Here are five things to consider after your spiritual awakening, so that your life doesn’t spin out of control.
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Get out of your head
When people talk about spiritual awakenings, they’re usually referring to an experience that totally flips their world view on its head. At these moments, it’s common for people to feel a strong sense of purpose and connection with all living things—as if they finally understand what life is about. But these realizations can also send us into an existential crisis—we start wondering who we are, why we exist, and where we go after death.
Let go of control
The world is not what we want it to be. It won’t conform to our desires, it won’t change according to our will, and it will never give us everything we ask for. If we can grasp that our every wish is not being answered, if we can find peace in knowing that our lives are exactly as they should be, if we can look at others and accept their flaws instead of projecting onto them all of our own shortcomings—that is spiritual awakening.
The benefits of being okay with change
When we have a spiritual awakening, it can feel as if we’re in free-fall. The reality is that we don’t know what’s coming next, and that can be scary! But there are some things we can keep in mind to help us embrace change and move through it gracefully. These are what I call my 3 C’s of being okay with change: 1) cope; 2) connect; 3) choose.
Stop comparing yourself
When you have a spiritual awakening, it’s easy to start comparing yourself with others, either regarding how far they seem to be on their journey or even just by looking at where they are and wishing that you were there. But stop doing that! It can be difficult enough as it is trying to find your own path; don’t make it more difficult by complicating things with comparisons.
Remove stress from your life
Making major changes to your life following an epiphany can be stressful, but it’s important not to let that stress deter you from reaching your goals. Take it as an opportunity for growth and prepare yourself for any unexpected obstacles or disappointments. Work on letting go of people who don’t want change in their lives and are unwilling to support yours; surround yourself with positive, inspiring friends instead. Realize that no one will ever understand your journey—and that’s okay.
Forgive others and forgive yourself
It’s important to recognize that guilt and regret often come up after a spiritual awakening. After seeing who we really are, there may be feelings of anger and disappointment at those around us for having misled us or acted in ways that made our journey difficult. Forgiving others makes it easier for ourselves by letting go of our attachment to what should happen, and being able to forgive ourselves helps us release any self-imposed limitations we put on our lives.
Love in action
Following your inner guidance and working to heal yourself are important aspects of spirituality, but so is taking action in your community. It’s not just about looking inward—it’s also about looking outward and devoting time and energy toward helping those around you. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter; build houses with Habitat for Humanity; or write letters to send abroad for charity: water.
No matter how well-meaning your friends and family are, they may not truly understand what it’s like to experience a spiritual awakening. At times, support systems can feel too overwhelming; it’s easy for someone who isn’t experiencing an awakening to forget what you may be going through. Accepting help allows your loved ones to offer their support in ways that may resonate with your journey more than they otherwise could.
You are never alone
Even if it feels like everyone has abandoned you, I promise they haven’t. Keep faith in God and keep moving forward because it will get better eventually. You are loved and never alone. (Read John 16:33) * Asking for help or staying positive doesn’t mean that you’re weak or admitting defeat, it just means that sometimes we all need help to get through certain things in life.
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