The ego panics before a spiritual breakthrough (2/2)
This is part two (part one can be read here: mariaerving.com/ego-panics-1) in this very long article about common concerns that most people experience in the process of spiritual awakening when it comes to the sense of losing control, when goals, dreams and plans vanishes, and our once so empowering ambitions start to change big time.
Grace can be fierce, and to know that it is that too allows us to relax more into the process and let it do what it does and having awareness about some common questions and experiences in this process can be very helpful.
Q: I would like to know if you can give me some guidance on how to accept the feeling of anger, pain, guilt raising from this deep sense of lack, of loss of this love of myself.
How can I accept with love this regression of the process of awakening?
How can I keep my heart open when feeling so vulnerable and threaten by my environment.. How to protect myself?
I feel lost.
M: We free ourselves by surrendering to the process. The process is happening and it cannot not happen so to speak, there’s no way of going back now, so enjoy the ride as much as you can.
I don’t mean this casually as this is something I have learned through my own pain and turmoil, and it’s not about putting up a brave face and pretend the pain is not there. This Bible verse came to mind:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. -James 1:2-4
Learn from the feelings by welcoming them to come and go as they please; become aware of their messages, and also how they trick you into ego-land again.
Overall we give way too much importance to thoughts and feelings, it’s us that empowers them, they don’t really do any harm until we allow them to become significant and important.
What is more important is to connect with the deeper feelings; our intuition.
Guilt and shame are tools of the ego. When we see this, we no longer see the use in indulging in them.
There will be self-pity too, there will be anger, hopelessness, discouragement.
But instead of avoiding them – look into them, allow them to be present if they already are and they will flow through you faster.
Nothing sticks if we don’t make them hugely significant and important. The ego lures us with feelings and thoughts of them being important, but when we look deeper we realize that they weren’t that frightening after all.
Even to allow yourself to feel lost will free you.
Ask yourself; What’s wrong with feeling lost? And who is feeling lost? Is the true self ever lost? Can God be lost..? Nope.
Then who is this entity that feels lost and who is it that judges feeling lost as being something bad?
What happens within when you allow yourself the feeling of being lost?
“Okay, so I feel lost at the moment, that’s fine. I’m in no danger by this. It’s just a feeling and feelings come and go, it has nothing to do with who I am. Last week I had clarity, now I feel lost. Who knows what a moment from now will feel like”.
And then from that more relaxed state a new direction can be heard and seen. (Wisdom comes from stillness).
The one who feels threatened and vulnerable is the ego, because what’s happening right now is that it is being exposed and it knows that that means the end of it, eventually that’s what’s going to happen (ego death), that’s what shedding Light on it does.
When your heart is opening more and more you will also feel more sensitive to surroundings and the environment but the intensity will balance itself out as you let it happen and are not closing yourself.
Some people are more sensitive than others. There was a time for me in the past for example when I dreaded to spend any time in airports because I could literally feel other peoples stress and fear and I felt as if I was about to faint, it was so overwhelming, I felt as if I was completely open to other people’s energies, and airports are filled with stress and anxiety.
Nowadays it’s different, I can still feel it, but I’m not as affected by it.
The heart will open up more and more and we will learn how to protect ourselves from energies but I can’t tell you how, it just evolves in that direction naturally. It’s not like the need to protect oneself is there, it’s just that the heart knows exactly how open it is suppose to be and adjusts itself to that.
If the need to protect yourself is there, then self inquiry might be something to look into;
To ask self inquiry questions like “who is it that needs protection, who is afraid” and so on will help you clarify for yourself who the real you is and who’s not.
Q: It feels good to be able to express all of this confusion. I don’t know if I am still awakened and lately I panicked and I was wondering if I should consult a life coach..
The only issue with the coach is that he /she will ask me for a clear goal and I don’t have any for real.
I just have some fears that I want to avoid.
Before that, I was so sure about wanting to achieve my full potential as a being but now it feels like a new kind of brainwash, it is like going deeper into mind.
M: I just want to clarify something; “you” are not going to be the one who is (or becomes) “awakened”.
This is a very common belief, that the awakening is for the ego (the person we take ourselves to be), but it’s actually an awakening from the ego. Not for it.
Many people take a spiritual awakening experience to be The Awakening, but that’s just the beginning of the process.
What you are experiencing with thinking of consulting a Life Coach, that’s your ego trying to regain control of the situation as it is very uncomfortable with not knowing. (Nothing wrong with Life Coaching, it just has nothing to do with spiritual awakening).
The same with the avoidance game. Fear is not to be avoided, it’s to be seen for what it is, only then can it lose its power. (It doesn’t have any power, we give it power by making it more important than peace and trust).
Most of mainstream spirituality is about avoiding the pain, believing there’s a place where one is always ‘happy happy joy joy’.
Life is both darkness and Light, and with spiritual awakening the difference is that the underlying current that carries Life so to speak is Peace. Profound peace.
And in that peace storms are allowed to roam as well, because yes, life has challenges for everyone, no one is protected from that.
When peace is always there, then the challenges (whenever they come) are always in the background because the peace is what rows the boat and it cannot be rocked; the saying ‘peace that passeth all understanding’ becomes your reality with awakening.
Spiritual awakening has nothing to do with goal setting either. Truth is not about setting goals and plotting plans, and it seems like you are already knowing this on a deeper level.
All those things (plans/goals) will be given to you if and when needed, but they are not your job to create or figure out at all.
It’s about responding to the intuitive knowing in the present moment and about doing the next obvious thing according to the inner guidance we receive.
The ego can never reach ‘your’ full potential, because that is not who you are, so how could ‘you’ be the one that sets goals, when the ‘you’ is not the real you?
In time the right goals and plans will be given to you by God, and they will come as insights, inspired ideas and intuitive nudges etc, not by any kind of mind-made ways.
The fact that you feel that going deeper into mind is only to brainwash yourself is a realization that will help you move through this with more ease – ease for the Spirit, anguish for the ego.
The more trust and faith you have in the process, the smoother it goes. It’s when we think (judge) that something is wrong or bad that we suffer unnecessarily but truth is; we have never known anything, we might have thought we knew, but now we know that we don’t, and that’s a huge difference.
It’s by having integrity and courage to go where your heart is directing you that will strengthen your dedication to know Truth, and nothing less than that is what you’ll end up with. (Truth will not let you go, and that is Its promise).
Q: One part of me feels weak because I am not ambitious anymore. If I am not enlightened and if I lost my dreams then I am just lost somewhere in the middle.
In the meantime this is real grace and I feel bad to complain.. I am grateful for having this glimpses of Truth.
How can I say “no” to Truth it feels deeply deeply wrong.
But at the same time I feel the pull for fulfillment again.
I am not sure when I should say yes or no…
M: I know how it feels. But know that it’s normal to feel this way for a while. There is no way of saying how long this could go on as all humans have a unique path to go.
Dreams and goals will vanish, and some of them may resurface later on, but only after we have let go of them completely first. Life will not be about you anymore, and that’s what Life is teaching you by pushing you to let go and surrender.
The “new” you is being born (or, awaken), the real you, and the transformation will lead you to a place where you will no longer be the decider and doer, but all will be directed and done by God, through you, as you.
You already sense this intuitively, you know this is Grace. And you can sense the pull from the world and the ego, and the nudges of the heart at the same time. Of course it creates inner turmoil.
Now you must choose which voice to listen to.
And sometimes when in confusion whether to do this or that, to go there or not there, don’t be afraid of making mistakes. That’s how we learn too.
Trust this: God knows your heart, God knows your desire for Truth, and if you have ever uttered the words sincerely that you want to live the Truth, however it may look, God knows that and will never forget or let you go.
At times it may feel that way (even Jesus cried out “God, why have you forsaken me”) but that is also to be expected.
There will be times in the wilderness just as there will be times in crystal clear clarity and bliss-states.
One thing is for sure and that is that we can never ‘create’ or manufacture any of this, we are not in control of it, and it’s all totally unpredictable.
This is a beautiful process and only afterwards can we really appreciate it and see its beauty, but even now, sensing the intuitive knowing that this is indeed Grace – that’s what can allow us to relax into the process more and we can even appreciate it as it burns away that which is not in alignment or relevant for us anymore and we can even say;
“Thank You God, Thank You for this.
I’m yours – use me as you see fit. I’m truly all yours”.
Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. –Psalm 16:5 (NIV)
Schedule a spiritual guidance session on Skype with me here: mariaerving.com/sessions
Would you like me to write an article for you? Submit here.