You might have heard this phrase, but do you know what it means? It means different things to different people because it is ultimately a deep and largely subjective question that has a myriad of definitions. In this article, I offer to you a basic understanding from a spiritual perspective.
During an awakening one may notice they feel sad or depressed without knowing the true cause. They might feel like their world doesn’t make sense anymore or they may feel detached. A person may feel a void within themselves, as if something is missing or that they are “off” in some way, yet they don’t know why. One may start questioning their soul and ask questions like: Why am I here? What is wrong with me? What is my purpose? Why can’t I just be happy?
It might feel as though there is a longing within you - a desire for a better way of being and a better life. To awaken means to become familiar with or to become conscious of how you have been living your life passively. Awakening is a process through which one becomes a different person - a person who is more aware and in control of their thoughts and behavior. It is becoming aware of how your subconscious is impacting the course of your life.
An awakening usually starts within a person as a quiet rumble – when the person realizes that their life isn’t working as they intend it to. Maybe they are angry all the time, or in fear. Maybe they complain about others or judge themselves constantly. Perhaps they overeat, overdrink, or find other ways to escape and distract. Maybe they hate their life or have questions about how they got to where they are, their relationship with themselves, and their relationship with other people. Maybe they are starting to remember some of their dysfunctional childhood and how it has affected the course of their life and development.
When an awakening comes on strong, it is typically on the heels of a life changing event or trauma. Examples of this may include a negative health diagnosis, divorce, job loss, trauma, betrayal, addiction, death, depression, anxiety, abuse, car accident, mid-life crisis, etc. In this stage, one is likely to “wake up to” their own negative energy from inner thought patterns. These life changing events spur one into taking inventory of their life, its events, and the people in it. When one awakens, they realize that something in their life is not working well.
One might think, feel, and behave within survival and stress emotions like fear, anger, resentment, frustration, impatience, insecurity, depression, anxiety, guilt, shame, etc. They may find themselves in repetitive, familiar situations and relationships that are unhealthy and draining.
Before an awakening, one may feel like their life is just another version of Groundhog Day- the same negative patterns recurring every day. However, as their heart and soul gently nudge them into a new state of being - an awakened state - they begin to understand who they have been, how they have been behaving, and what needs to change.
For each of us, there comes a time when we must
awaken and become what we were born to become.
~Seth Adam Smith
Awareness or self-awareness is the ability to identify what drives an individual’s thoughts, beliefs, and patterns of behavior – or how one shows up in life. The practice of self-awareness allows one to see their life and behavior from an objective perspective. They learn to identify reactive patterns of thought and behavior, to self-regulate, and identify where they can make changes in their lives from an empowered stance. An aware person takes control of their life instead of being victimized by it.
People are programmed early in life to react to certain situations in a specific way. A negative event such as abuse, trauma, or betrayal occurs and an emotion from that event is generated (fear, anger, resentment, frustration, impatience, insecurity, depression, anxiety, guilt, shame). These low frequency, negative emotions leave a chemical residue that is stored in the body.
For example, if a child experiences negative emotions on a continual basis, these emotional reactions become part of who they are, part of their unconscious programs or patterns of thought and behavior. While a person cannot change what happened to them, they can change how they react to it from an energetic perspective.
Being self-aware allows the space to correct thoughts, beliefs, patterns of behavior, and start making incremental changes in life. Awareness allows one to regain control of their lives and chart their own course instead of living passively. An aware person starts to focus on people, emotions, and things outside of themselves that engage and elevate their heart and soul. This new relationship with themselves typically leads a person to deeper and more meaningful connections with others.
To be self-aware allows one the freedom to course correct: to disinvest their energy and attention from old patterns of thought, beliefs, and behavior and create a new way of being in the world and a new way to show up in life. It allows one to live a life of their own choosing according to their own elevated values and perceptions. In this higher vibrational state people start to pick up on others’ frequencies and start to trust their intuition more. They begin to recognize what isn’t working for them any longer and who isn’t an energetic match. They also begin to understand that they are at the crossroads of choice every moment of every day, and that this gives them control of their lives.
I am not what happened to me.
I am what I choose to become.
In my practice I see many clients who are experiencing their own awakening. They initially come to me because they think they are going crazy or losing their mind because nothing “feels” the same anymore. They feel lost, anxious, or sad at the life they currently have and how they behave, and they want to learn to make changes once and for all. Believe me, I get it.
However, when clients start to understand this natural waking up process, they learn tools, techniques, and concepts to become aware of who they have been and why. They learn to course correct and elevate their frequency to make sustainable, positive changes in their lives. They learn to stop being a victim and step into their role as permanent creator of their future.