The concept of human awakening (spiritual or personal) sparks extraordinary interest considering the number of books, websites and YouTube videos that exist on the subject.
The definition of awakening is ‘an act or moment of becoming suddenly aware of something’. Once aware we strive to create positive change in our lives, and from experience I know that this is not easy. Like the lion in The Wizard of Oz I once lacked courage to face truths and react to a new perspective.
In my early twenties I was in a loveless marriage but refused to face reality. On holiday my husband and I were caught in a fierce cyclone. At first I was terrified but eventually I had an overwhelming feeling of calm and knew without a doubt my husband was not the person I wanted to spend my life with.
When we returned home I ignored the warning by convincing myself our marriage would improve if we started a family. It didn’t go well, the marriage fell apart and I became a shattered single mother with a baby who ultimately suffered as a result of the doomed marriage.
A while later I was vulnerable during the legal process of ending the marriage. At every meeting I felt bullied and manipulated to resolve the issues. I have never felt so powerless or weak.
It was during one of these meetings that I knew I could challenge the pompous lawyers and stand up for myself. I momentarily lost my fear and this experience was liberating.
However instead of seizing this change in attitude and going forward living without fear, I reverted to my previous demeanor and spent many more years being submissive.
Turning 50 was a milestone I saw as another opportunity to be courageous and shatter the protective box I had imposed around myself.
One night I awoke during the quietest hours and knew the only way I would be content was to regain my individuality and rebuild my confidence.
I wanted to revert to using my name at birth rather than be known by my second husband’s family name, which I had used for 22 years. This was difficult because I deeply love my husband and my intention infuriated him.
I thought about the times I’d previously ignored the signs from awakening experiences and I knew I couldn’t let myself down again. So after many weeks of upsetting and confronting discussions I told my husband I was going ahead and changing my name.
It wasn’t easy contacting the relevant authorities to prove that I was the person on my birth certificate, it was demeaning but I persisted. Telling family, friends and work colleagues I had changed my name made me uncomfortable and the subject of whispers about whether my marriage was in trouble (which it never was).
I felt I had let everyone down and crushed expectations of who I should be, but I held firm knowing my decision was right for me. It took all my strength to push away fear but it was liberating and ultimately made me whole again. (My post I am who I am describes more of this story)
From then on I tapped into an infinite reserve of courage and slowly started living with confidence and being true to myself. Freedom is bliss.
My fourth awakening experience was spiritual and inspired an overwhelming feeling of peace and optimism that things are as they should be. This day I knew I’ve found the right path after being lost for so many years. (My post Serenity describes more about this)
It took me 50+ years to learn the truth in the following quote. I hope everyone else discovers it long before I did.
The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins. Bob Moawad
My post today is part of a series of posts about awakening experiences by various bloggers initiated by Barbara of Me My Magnificent Self. Further details