Why am I not Progressing with Awakening?
It can be very painful when you feel you have devoted your life to awakening and yet you are coming up against roadblocks, perhaps feeling like you are not progressing. At times you can feel like you're doing everything you can to assist the process, but nothing seems to be working.
Here are some of the reasons your awakening may be stalled:
- It's time to let go of something in your relative world, but you’re resisting it because you don’t want your life to change. Many things can drop away on the awakening path - careers, relationships, hobbies. If you’re grasping at something that wants to be surrendered, you can get stuck - at a stalemate with Truth.
- You’re avoiding the deep psychological and emotional work that is a part of the awakening journey. Many of us enjoy the meditation, big openings, and realisations on the path, but there comes a time where the psychological work wants to be faced. A time to go into the body and nervous system and heal trauma and karmic imprints. If you stay in the transcendent part of of awakening it is certainly more enjoyable, but you may be stuck having realised the Truth, but unable to embody it.
- Some people are comfortable delving into the deep emotional work, but get stuck somewhere along line when there’s something difficult about themselves that they don’t want to face, such as being a victim, being hateful, or codependent. Shadow work goes very deep on the awakening journey, constantly showing us challenging truths about ourselves. Each time we come up against a deeper layer of something we've been avoiding, we can get stuck at that stage. Having an openness to feel and see everything that is arising, and being accepting your humanness, can help.
- You’re attached to a part of your identity and not willing to give it up. There’s usually at least a few ideas about ourselves that we really struggle to let go of, where we are really identified - such as our career, being a parent, or believing we’re a good person. As long as we’re doing everything we can to hold that part of who we believe we are in place, it can slow down the unfolding process. Doing self enquiry such as "who am I?" or "am I aware?" can help to let go of the sticky identity.
- You are attached to your ideas about the future - your dreams, desires, and hopes. This voice sounds like “I’m happy to surrender to awakening as long as I still get to be a doctor, have children, be in a loving relationship…” Surrendering to the unknown means letting go of all ideas of how the future will look. If you're waiting for that day when you'll be happy, successful, have your dream job, have the partner you've always wanted, you can be stuck in a fantasy world, not surrendering to the mystery. Awakening is about surrendering your life and with that goes your ideas of the future. As long as you are trying to have some control over the outcome of your life, you may find yourself treading water.
- You may have beliefs around awakening itself that are keeping you from progressing, such as what an awake person looks like, whether you deserve it or not, or whether it is even possible. If believe that awakening is not possible for you for whatever reason, this may limit your progress. Spending some time contemplating your beliefs around awakening can be hugely beneficial.
Awakening forces you to face what is true. Life is always revealing to you what you need to know, but often it's too painful to see it and so you get stuck, between Truth and your comfort. Between surrendering to the unknown and holding onto the illusory person you believe yourself to be.
Over time you begin to see that Truth always wins, you can only resist it for so long. So you begin to trust the process and allow Truth to guide the way, no matter how much you dislike it. You begin to see that although the path of Truth can be painful, ultimately it is always what is necessary for awakening.