Spiritual awakenings are individual to each person. What prompts their awakening, the school of thought they choose to learn, and how they incorporate it into their lives run the gambit. However, the process of spiritual awakening contains several hallmarks shared by all participants.
- Surrendering our will and desire for our life to turn out a certain way
- Finding faith that we will find our way despite being absolutely clueless as to how to proceed
- Finding a teacher who can clarify the process as we walk it and dispel our internal strife and self-talk that we are falling apart and ruining our lives
- Becoming aware of our motivations, expectations, and wounds
- Beginning the process of taking 100% responsibility for our lives. Yes, even when we can’t control the world, we are still in control of our behavior, emotions, actions, decisions, and thoughts.
Empaths and the Spiritual Path
The timing of my spiritual awakening coincided with learning I was an empath so the two will forever be linked for me. Being an empath is a huge part of my spirituality and my spiritual path.
I was working to take responsibility for my life and heal self-destructive patterns. Examining all the wounding I had from being highly sensitive, psychic, and a healer in a family and a world that didn’t understand, appreciate, or accommodate those traits.
Like many empaths, I went through the stage of feeling victimized by my sensitivity. How could I learn to control my emotions when they seemed to control me? It was a process that took time and it helped me to have a teacher and healer who walked the path with me.
Therapy and Energy Healing
Living in a world that isn’t very accommodating to sensitive people, empaths often struggle with trauma in childhood and young adulthood. As a result, we benefit from therapy to help us process our emotional wounds.
An empath will need a teacher/healer to learn about how they process energy and how energy affects their relationships, careers, and physical wellbeing. Energy healing/spiritual work and traditional forms of therapy are an extremely effective combination for empaths—getting the right resources for both the mind and spirit/energy body.
A note on trauma: There are two types of trauma: big ‘T’ trauma and little ‘t’ trauma. Big ‘T’ trauma is characterized as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and includes things like abuse, neglect, death of a parent or sibling, etc.
Little ‘t’ trauma is anytime someone did not fully process an emotion at the time of the incident. It doesn’t have to be big incidents. It can be as simple as being told you are “too sensitive” repeatedly, for example. Trauma causes us to change our behavior to avoid that particular trauma from happening again, i.e. stifling your reactions so no one calls you sensitive or a baby.
Stigma and Change
Since most of our behaviors and patterns have all been established by the time, we are 7 years old, each one of us (empath or not) would benefit from some energy work or therapy. There still exists significant resistance in our culture to therapy or healing. It is exacerbated by the fact that our country (USA) doesn’t value mental health care and we usually have to pay out of pocket for therapy and healing.
I am hopeful this stigma will someday go away and our health care system makes access to quality mental health care easier and less expensive, but until it does, I will be talking about the need, especially among empaths, to do this work. I will also do my best to make it affordable to as many people as I can. You will reap the rewards and so will your children and community.
Since change is something, we rarely choose just for the fun of it, we usually have to feel a lot of pain before we are will to address working on our own energetic armor and emotional baggage. Hitting rock bottom is a Dark Night of the Soul and is only the beginning of a spiritual awakening.
And the journey has no end...
And it is a journey that never truly ends. I have had a variety of teachers over the years and chosen a handful of healing modalities to help me along the way. I have had several dark nights of the soul as well and expect I will have more in the future. A spiritual path is not all love and light.
It is about self-mastery (never to be fully achieved in our lifetime), it is about expansion, it is about embodying the soul and becoming our true self. The part of us not stifled, beaten down, or crippled due to life experiences beyond our control.
And it is a path I will always choose even when it is scary or hard because the benefits far out weigh standing still in my fear and pain. Finding inner contentment along the journey provides a confidence and peace that are their own reward.
A never ending journey that is unpredictable and impossibly fulfilling if I have the courage to follow my soul’s lead. I will always welcome a spiritual awakening.