Author: Parus Qureshi
When you think of a Spiritual Awakening, you may think of sitting next to Gautama Buddha under the Bodhi tree reaching a state of enlightenment or Nirvana. All is quiet and you are surrounded by a serene landscape. Classical hymns float ever so softly in the background and become louder and louder until, suddenly, you open your eyes and your life is forever changed. You are now omnipotent and understanding of all. You inhale a pleasurable breath of contentment and expel a sigh of relief.
Either that or you envision Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction narrowly missing a bullet meant for his head, and suddenly realizing that he wants to “become a shepherd and walk the earth”, much to the dismay of his disgruntled partner (Tarantino, 1994). They may be at opposite ends of the spectrum and sure, one may be fictitious, but both are illustrations of what it means to have a Spiritual Awakening.
Since history has been recorded, human beings have sought one form of spirituality or another. Why we are here? What is our purpose? Finding satisfactory answers to these questions is what we could loosely deem as a Spiritual Awakening, but the search for the explanation is not nearly as important as the quest for the truth. This quest, no matter which route you take, always begins the same – we start by asking why?
8 Signs of a Spiritual Awakening
- You’ve survived an extraordinary event and now the world seems different. This doesn’t necessarily have to be something traumatic. It could be a joyful happenstance. The fact that you are seeing things differently is the sign that your mind may be changing shape. Whenever something causes you to change perspective, consider that your soul may be thirsting for some attention.
- You are suddenly more aware of your own actions. If you’ve felt selfless elation from helping someone unsolicited then you will understand. Being receptive to your feelings is something we are born with but lose over time. We have a tendency to let ourselves go numb. By helping others and gaining a sense of benevolence, you may open the floodgates to a wash of altruistic notions.
- You need to find a new occupation because your current path seems trivial. Whether you’ve lost your job or want to lose your job, it can give the spirit a nudge. What we do to earn a living is many times taken for granted. We can’t stand what we do but we have to do something, so we plod along morosely. You may realize that this is no way to live. Your work is a huge part of your life and the urge to find significance in it can be compelling.
- Like a flash of lightning, a feeling or thought knocks you on the head and permeates through your entire being. What prompts the lightning can be anything, really. For some, it’s a sappy, overly dramatic romance novel where you find yourself weeping at the end for no apparent reason. For others, it’s a painting in a museum that transports you back to a different time and forces you to look at the world in a different light.
- After a breakup, you realize you don’t know who you are anymore. This one really forces a Spiritual Awakening if you want to move on with your life. The focus of your world shifts from someone else to YOU. This is a good time to turn what might be an ice cream-filled sob-fest into a time of healthy introspection (ice cream optional).
- Going without abundance for a while might make you sing a different tune. There will be times for 99% of us when having enough funds is a problem. Money issues can be killer issues. They can end careers, marriages, and in extreme cases, can end lives. If we stick through the tough times perhaps we will see what is truly important and worthy of our hard-earned dollars.
- Watching the children in your life grow up to be good people. If this doesn’t cause an awakening of the soul then who knows what will? If you’ve spent any time with children, whether they are your own or someone else’s who you care about, you’ll see how remarkable a transformation it is as they grow from innocent, dependent little creatures into free thinking, sentient, ambitious adults. It may just cause you to have revelation of your own.
- Illness. Being reminded of our own mortality puts emphasis on our potentially immortal interior. Our bodies will not last forever but if we foster our minds and our hearts, we have the chance for something everlasting.
With Our Eyes Wide Open
When asking “why”, what we are really doing is seeking truth. No one wants to hear a lie. Unless it’s your old grandpa retelling a rather embellished history of his life, then it’s okay. The bottom line is – we want the truth; we want knowledge. The hopeful outcome of retaining this knowledge is that we find some semblance of happiness and freedom from suffering. It is why Jules from Pulp Fiction no longer wanted to be a gangster. It is why Gautama Buddha renounced his riches and sought something greater (Goddard, 1932).
In these terms, it sounds like our souls’ manifest destiny but we may not always be up to the challenge. We become accustomed to moving through life unconsciously and to not understanding why the world is so unfair to us at times. We feel helpless and out of control, but there is a bright spot on the horizon. If your life is like a bad dream that you can’t make sense of, the only thing left for you to do is…wake up.
If you enjoyed reading about Spiritual awakening is knocking on your soul’s door and you need to answer, remember this is just one of many ways to ‘bend’ reality, tap into powers beyond your conscious existence… and connect with your infinite self.