You feel peaceful, blissed out, in the flow. You’re manifesting perfectly and life is going to plan. You’re okay with everything that happens. You can’t imagine ever suffering again.
Cut to the next scene. There’s been some kind of loss, shock, bolt of lightning from the blue. You’re lying in bed, sick with pain, or grief, or despair. This was unexpected, unplanned. You’ve tried everything. Nothing’s working. Where did your awakening go? Weren’t you supposed to be the one who was okay with everything, who met every experience with equanimity and an effortless “yes”? Where did all your spiritual progress go? The spiritual ‘me’ feels humiliated and beaten up. Were you a fake, a fraud, a liar? Were you always kidding yourself? How do you get back to where you were?
Don’t go back. Stay with it. You’re awakening from another dream. The dream that present experience could or should conform to ANY image or expectation. You’re discovering your own inner authority. This scene is not a mistake. The movie of your life is not broken.
You’re rediscovering how vast you are, how much you can hold. You don’t have to feel ‘okay’ all the time. You don’t have to be free from all resistance all the time. You are bigger than that, less limited. There is no ‘all the time’ for you. You are the space for the okay and the not-okay, the acceptance and the resistance. You don’t need any fixed and unchangeable image of yourself. You don’t need to be the enlightened guru or the spiritual warrior. You don’t need to be the peaceful one, the awakened one, the strong one, the highly evolved one, the one immune to suffering. All are limitations on your nature. Simply be what you are, not ‘this’ one or ‘that’ one, but The One, the space for all of it and more, as it arises.
Let life kick you off your pedestal time and time again, until you lose all interest in being on pedestals.
– Jeff Foster
This fits my experience very well.
At first, during the initial phase of the awakening, it was very clear that all is Spirit. It was/is Spirit waking up to itself as all there is. It was recognized within a state of a quiet joy in life, which makes this recognition much easier. And yet, there was still a good deal of realization left.
The following dark night of the soul was part of this process of not only recognizing all as Spirit, but living it throughout the wide range of possible states and experiences.
When life goes against my shoulds, wants and hopes, when there is pain, despair, fear and dread, can that too be recognized as Spirit? Can Spirit recognize itself as that too? Can it live in that recognition? That’s the next phase after the initial honeymoon.