It is said that spiritual awakening is triggered through the catalysts of our life experiences. A catalyst is much more than just a bad experience, it is a traumatizing event that shakes us to the core. It could be a loss, physical or mental, death of a loved one, any kind of abuse, physical or psychological, a chronic illness, failed marriage or any other traumatic experience. Life as you know it changes, ready or not, it is never the same again. It’s something that stays with you forever instead of being just a bad memory. You might also view it as a crossroad to enlightenment or bitterness, it depends on you and the many things that make up your personal profile. If you are an optimist, you most likely choose to believe, as a pessimist you might need evidence, thinking this is nothing more than a hoax, missing the crossroad all together while turning bitter.
I believe that the severity and the impact can vary with each occurrence and a person may need several catalysts to enter the process of spiritual awakening. Perhaps some will never experience it due to personal beliefs. I have wrote about the seven steps before and you can find them easily by searching under spiritual awakening.
It took multiple catalysts for me and it wasn’t a matter of severity and which one was the final one to trigger the process, but it was also a matter of timing and being ready for the signs that would follow. Everything added up and played a part in reaching that final destination. I think that my first catalyst started very early in life with the loss of my Father. I never coped, but I was too young at the age of ten to understand anything about spiritual awakening. I just continued with my life, still a child, with a hole in my heart that never closed, missing my Dad. Later in life I experienced abusive relationships, from physical torment to the manipulative kind, full of lies and deceit. I got played and taken advantage of, had to fear for my life and ended up in a failed marriage. I lost two pregnancies and went through hell and back at work due to jealousy and envy because I promoted before others who had seniority but not necessarily the skills. Try to tell them. It was the first time my hard work paid off in a negative way. I struggled with it a lot and although I had achieved everything, I had to lose everything in order to save myself. I almost didn’t make it. Over the years my dogs became my children, especially Nikki and the last and final catalysts happened as they past. I never recovered from Nikki’s loss and the wound of her being gone remains wide open. I know that her spirit would return to me in the form of another Shiba Inu, but that help remains unfulfilled with Germany hanging in the balance. Almost four years later, I know that it was my final catalyst and what evoked my process of spiritual-awakening. It was also a time I began to dabble in writing again. There was so much to say, even though the blog came much later and I needed an outlet for the things that were unfolding. I felt I couldn’t share it with anyone else, I wasn’t sure anyone would be able to relate. My experiences were customized to my suffering and from the outside one might gather that I was going nuts and was in the process of losing myself. I almost did, but I stayed true to course with a sincerity and a feeling so strong, yet no sufficient facts, besides my intuition. I had arrived at the crossroads of my path and choose my turn without even knowing that I was.
What happened during that timeframe, remains ever changing until today. Visions appear, synchronicities happen, people cross my path (nothing happens by accident), stepping stones are found with bits of information here and there, and the thirst for knowledge and understanding grows continuously. It’s a process that is ever evolving and it’s a process that only happens through trust and complete surrender by letting go of all control. To be ok with whatever outcome comes your way, to worry less and let things unfold how they are meant to be. I’m not saying I always like the outcome, but the awareness sure eliminates the pre-stresses about something that might never even come to terms. I learned to keep the ego in check and minimize the misery that causes us pain. It doesn’t mean that I eliminated all of it, but I learned to recognize the warning signs.
I never really talked about it and mostly kept the following to myself. Maybe because of fear that no one would relate, maybe because of worries that validation would never come, maybe because I thought you would think I’m nuts. It doesn’t matter anymore and I feel like sharing it today because I think some of you may have arrived at that crossroad and you need reassurance and understanding of what is happening in your life.
One of those little stepping stones that would end up being the start of everything, came into my life one day as I stood washing dishes. Like a robot I was washing one piece after another, starring out the kitchen window at the mountain range across from me. After years and years of living in the same house and seeing that mountain range every day, it wasn’t until that day that I truly saw it for the very first time. The turmoil inside of me became still as I scoured over every bush and every boulder. I never stopped my task and blindly reached for the next cup to wash, never taking my eyes off of the mountain. My mind was blank, I was lost in a moment of peace and I wanted to stay there as long as possible. The pain I was experiencing during that time of my life was intense and I knew I needed direction, a place to turn to and a shimmer of hope, something to focus on that would motivate me to go on.
“Nirvana, Nirvana, Nirvana”. I don’t know how long this was going on, but eventually I heard myself speaking the word Nirvana. It was what brought me back to reality and what at first set in confusion. Of course I knew of the music group Nirvana, but I never even knew the meaning of the word and what it stood for. Why was I saying it, what triggered it, and what was going on? I had numerous questions but started with a google search to learn the meaning of the word and to piece the puzzle together until I had a answer that felt right for me.
In Buddhism a transcendent State in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor a sense of self, and the subject is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth. It represents paradise, heaven, bliss, ecstasy, joy, peace, serenity, tranquility, enlightenment and is the final goal of Buddhism.
I was confused at first and didn’t learn about synchronicities and intuition much later, but I had a starting point. I later found that I was relating to many of the Buddhist teachings when it comes to wisdom, karma, compassion and the modern materialistic society. It was then that I learned that less is more, that none of the materialistic things matter and that I got addicted to the feeling of inner bliss and harmony. Buddhism is a code of practice or a way of life that leads to true happiness. I believe that hearing me speak that word without any prior knowledge of its meaning was my portal, the stepping stone in my journey to enlightenment. I have grown ever since. I have never really spoken about it and I know it’s something hard to comprehend for someone who has not experienced similar situations or is on a different level. You might still think that I’m nuts, but you might also relate and have your own experiences. When I remember back to one of my most painful times of life, I can’t help deny the beauty that was born out of it. Perhaps it is the very reason as to why I believe in silver linings and what taught me to embrace the challenges without complaining.
My moments of greatest pain became my greatest strength.