Awake. Enlightened. Aware. These terms are casually thrown around in the spiritual and not so spiritual worlds. I have struggled to understand what others mean when they use these words and more importantly what do I mean when I use those words. Right now the only word that seems important is Awake. Enlightenment seems like a word that the ego needs. Awareness seems somewhat self-evident. But what is awake? After long periods of thinking and not thinking about the meaning of awake it suddenly became clear.
Being awake is simply understanding that there is absolutely no point in going against yourself and I mean absolutely no point. Period. Exclamation mark! Finito!
It took a long time to come to understand this concept and a longer time to allow it to consume me. So let's break this down a bit.
First of all how do you know that you are going against yourself? Initially you may have to look at exterior clues. When you are feeling uneasy, uncomfortable, not in your skin, maybe even angry or depressed or when you just know somethings not quite right, there is probably a little voice in your head that is telling you that somehow you are doing "it" wrong, or that you deserve to feel badly, that you aren't lovable or maybe you just don't belong (to where or to whom is a whole other blog.)
Secondly when you start feeling badly or just not happy, this is the perfect time to delve into your mind and figure out what is being said. Clap your hands, sing hallelujah, you just received your first clue to waking up. Most people don't think of bad feelings as good thing but they are the red flags that tells you where to dig for your treasure. However taking the next step requires the stealth of a Watergate journalist and the patience of Job. At first I couldn't hear the voices, I spent so much of my time denying that they were there and trying to silence them that I in fact could not hear them. But slowly, slowly they began to reveal themselves sometimes forthrightly othertimes they had to be tricked. Unfortunately there is no 1-2-3 step process to learn what is really being said in your head. You will have to figure out that on your own. (Hint: Trial and error is of great help.)
Thirdly once you understand what your mind is saying to you, you begin the process of unlistening to the voice. And listening to that voice is a habit more addictive than heroin. Unlistening takes as much training as becoming a gold medal Olympian. You will set your intent to unlisten, you will fail and then succeed, then fail again. This process can continue for a long time.
And while you are teaching yourself to unlisten, simultaneously you begin to listen to the voice of Truth or Life. I'm not sure exactly what to call it, but it is a voice that just is. It is the voice that resonates in your bones. There is no discord. You can feel the rightness of that voice.
Fourthly, if you're lucky you make the transition to being in complete harmony with that voice. It never leads you astray. It is the voice, the energy that creates Life. How could it be wrong? Please don't allow your ego-mind to distort this. It doesn't mean that you won't ever be upset, that you won't fail, that you will always be in control. It simply means that you when you are in complete harmony with that voice you understand the absurdity of ever doubting it, of ever doubting yourself, of ever going against yourself. This is not something that can be willed or practised. Almost getting it or getting most of the time is NOT the same thing. It is absolute.
And with that you are DONE. You are awake.
Life becomes an adventure that can be fully enjoyed in all of its variations. There is no holding back because there is no fear of not doing it right. There is nothing telling your life should be something else.
You understand that you are.