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When most people think of spirituality, they envision a sweet, happy path, filled with sunshine and smiles, and I hate to break it to you, but there is a lot more to it than that. Actually, it is a lot deeper, and darker than that.

Oftentimes, people lose track of their goal to reach enlightenment, due to the pitfalls they stumble upon along the way. And most people are unable to make it through the hurdles involved. However, they are mandatory stepping stones that everyone endures, and it is through them that you are able to reach the end of the road.

You fight with yourself, and are torn about taking the leap to begin the journey.

While you know that you want to make the leap, you worry that you won’t be able to give up certain parts of yourself that you are afraid to let go of. And then you realize the next one, and let go.

You look at yourself honestly and realize that you have to accept yourself, without judgment or bias.

You begin to understand that in order to reach spiritual enlightenment, you must see yourself for exactly who you are. You must see the good, the bad, and the ugly. You have to look at your actions, your flaws, and your toxic traits. And for the first time in your life, you do, and it is dark.

Loving people who abused you, left you traumatized

No matter what they have done, you learn to let go of the hatred in your heart for the people who abused you, traumatized you, or negatively impacted your life. In letting go of them and forgiving them, you learn an important lesson that is necessary for your path.

You begin to feel like an alienated.

When you are around others, you feel like you are a different species. No matter how much you try to connect with other people, you begin to feel like you have nothing in common with anyone. Due to this, you may begin to feel like there is nowhere you belong.

You feel let down- and like you have failed.

You fall into a pit of despair and feel like nothing meets your expectations. You feel like you are getting nowhere, and you truly consider going back to your old ways.

You start seeking answers independently.

For the first time in a very long time, if ever- you want to find your own path and get there on your way. And this isn’t a phase, it’s a new way of life for you.

Having to unearth parts of yourself that are hard to face.

While you may not want to, you start noticing parts of yourself that you really don’t want to, but you do it and move through it and grow because of it.

You learn to be thick-skinned, when necessary, and understand that it is necessary.

In the past, you may have been extremely compassionate and forgave people who didn’t deserve it, and enable people to be cruel, but when you get closer to enlightenment that changes. You learn that sometimes you have to shut people out of your life in order to protect your peace.

You learn that you have to heal from the inside out.

The power to heal is already inside you and you find out that you must heal the traumas and wounds that are hidden deeply inside of your soul. You find out that when you face these traumas and wounds, understand their existence, and deal with them head on, you are able to heal.

Relive the moments that broke you.

While it may be difficult to handle it, you accept that it is a necessary step for your spiritual development and evolution. It pushes you forward through the healing process. and helps you to remember an important lesson.

You stop trying to hide.

You finally realize that you can’t hide from the pain from your past, and for the first time in your entire life, you no longer want to. And while this may seem dark to some, it is actually something that you accept.

You surrender.

It comes to you out of nowhere, and you may not think you are ready, but you finally let go. You stop fighting, and you let life happen.