Spiritual Counseling - Suffering Leads to Awakening

Dr. Purushothaman
October 5, 2013

If you are living a nightmarish life then your chances for a spiritual awakening are pretty high. More often than not, awakenings occur during or after times of great trauma, crisis, or upheaval where inner and outer structures are broken down. What we used to depend on is no longer available to us and so we are forced to fall back onto our own devices, our own personal resources to survive. This could be indicative of a death in the family, a divorce, or a financial loss. The rug is pulled out from underneath us -- so to speak -- and we're left feeling confused and helpless.

For me, I experienced a loss of status and income (job), loss of a spouse (divorce), and the loss of my father all within the same year. Shortly afterward I experienced the loss of my health when I became physically debilitated by chronic fatigue syndrome. All of these factors contributed to my eventual awakening but it certainly didn't happen overnight. In fact, it took about twenty years for the metamorphosis to complete. During that time, I suffered severely on many levels. Looking back, I am extremely grateful for my suffering because without it I would have remained lost. My life would have been an uneasy truce.

So it wasn't until everything came crashing down around me that I awakened to what was truly real. As a result, my values changed dramatically. The meaning I had placed on meaningless things seemed ludicrous and absurd. I was no longer ruled or controlled by my possessions or status. That part of me, the part that identified my sense of self with my accomplishments, how much money I made, or material things I owned, had to die. This death allowed for a new sense of Self to emerge. A higher and more powerful Self.

For many people, loss is also experienced as a loss of meaning or purpose. A mental confusion settles in because life no longer makes any sense. It seems random, chaotic, and hostile. Loss of health and well-begin makes you feel this way because it strips you of all sense of control. You begin to realize your own mortality. For me, I couldn't attract the right healers to me until I learned how to surrender myself to the illness. In other words, I had to stop fighting it and begin accepting it. When this shift in awareness occurred, I began attracting the right healing methods to me almost immediately.

I also realized that my health was the most important thing in my life. I began to put my health first. Not just my physical health. I'm also talking about my mental health. In fact, my physically body never could truly heal until I healed my emotional pain-body first. And that required a herculean effort accompanied by lots of courage and faith. It also took many years of seeking guidance, inner work, and paying attention to everything life was trying to teach me. Eventually, I began to see myself in a totally different light. I understood that my preconditioned thoughts, beliefs, and behavior had created the suffering in the first place and because of that, I was, in fact, perpetuating it. After that, I realized that if I had created the suffering, it must also mean that I had the power to end it, and all that was required of me was to wake up to that underlying truth.

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