“Your greatest awakening comes, when you are aware about your infinite nature.” – Amit Ray, Meditation: Insights and Inspirations
The journey to spiritual enlightenment is one that has captivated people for thousands of years. A central building block in the religious beliefs and teachings of both Buddhism and Hinduism, spiritual enlightenment refers to an awakening, realization or increase in self-knowledge. It is the point in your spiritual journey where you no longer look at the world through the eyes of someone living here on Earth, but rather from a higher, spiritual plane. Regardless of which religion or spiritual set of beliefs you subscribe to, all seem to agree on three points: Spiritual enlightenment is permanent and cannot be lost once you have attained it, it involves shedding and transcending your personal ego and true spiritual enlightenment ends all forms of suffering.
It is said that there are 5 different stages in the awakening process, each presenting us with a new level of understanding and knowledge about the world that we live in, and the reality of life. It is only upon reaching the 5th stage, or the stage of ‘Understanding/Enlightenment’ that you are able to truly see the world as it is – accepting that “there is no good or bad, no black or white, no right or wrong, no permanence besides impermanence, and the only thing that really exists is the ‘is.’ This ‘is’ is all that ever was, all that ever will be, and all that ever can be… and the is, is impossible to name.”
Reaching this heightened state of acceptance and understanding of the world and the Universe will ultimately open your eyes to new truths, and a new way of viewing life.
Here are 14 hard truths that only the most enlightened people will understand:
#1 – Take the time to honor both your discomfort and pain.
Rather than trying to avoid the difficult times, or deny their existence, accept and honor both the good times and the bad. Even the most challenging times in our lives provide us with an opportunity to learn and grow, helping us to become the best version of ourselves.
#2 – Embrace your flaws and mistakes.
Far too often people become wrapped up in comparing themselves to everyone else around them, creating a baseline for where they believe that they ‘should be’ and deciding if they measure up. The fact is that no one person is perfect, and the realization that we have flaws is an awakening in and of itself. This will free you from the conditioning of the world around you, opening your eyes to the real truth.
#3 – Thoughts and feelings are only guests in your life.
This can be a challenging one to accept, however, when you reach this level of enlightenment you will reach the realization that while your thoughts and feelings may be real to you, they are not actually reality. Instead, they are a fleeting version of light has been created within your own mind, and will pass with time.
#4 – You are a limited being.
Our society tries to push us to achieve all, do all and succeed in every area of our lives all at once. There is no benefit to pretending that you are free of limitations. Each and every one of us has our own weakness, flaws, and limitations. It is only by accepting them that we are able to learn to explore our true abilities and discover our full potential.
#5 – You can only reach your goals and dreams by first being ‘here.’
The act of setting goals for dreaming of the destination that you hope to reach are not, in and of themselves, bad. However, if you allow this to dominate your thoughts and forget about the journey, you will only create stress and disappointment. Instead, acknowledge the steps that your journey will take in order to move toward the final destination, and allow yourself to appreciate and embrace each one.
#6 – Remember that we are all on our own journey.
Each of us is uniquely gifted with own strengths, weaknesses, talents, and truths. Due to the differences in who we are, we also have entirely different journeys. As such, any effort to compare yourself is inaccurate and can only cause stress and disappointment. Even if two people are largely similar, they will still possess their own unique features and character traits, which alters their personal journey.
#7 – There is no ‘destination,’ only the here and now.
While many people will spend their entire life focused on where they are going, what they hope to attain and what they have to look forward to tomorrow, spiritually enlightened people acknowledge that their true home lies in the here and now.
#8 – Hatred is a form of passion.
This may sound crazy to those who have not made it to this level of thinking, but you secretly love that which you hate the most. For example, if you are feeling hatred towards a person it may be due to jealousy, or disappointment that they have achieved something you either haven’t achieved or hadn’t considered previously. If you are feeling hatred towards someone or something, take the time to assess why.
#9 – Acceptance does not involve removing things from your life, instead it is accepting who you are at the moment.
When you reach a new level of enlightenment, you realize that accepting does not mean that something will suddenly leave your life. Instead, acceptance means acknowledging the reality of yourself. If you are feeling disappointed, upset, bored or angry, allow yourself to feel them and accept their role in your life.
#10 – Problems in our lives are most likely of our own doing.
Most of the challenges and struggles that we face in our lives are actually caused by our own thoughts, actions or weaknesses. Often in our lives, we will see something go wrong, and quickly place the blame on someone or something in our lives. In doing so, the truth is lost, and you miss the possibility of growth and self-realization.
#11 – Suffering only occurs when you think of your pain and resist it.
We will all face times of sadness or difficult challenges throughout the course of our lives. If we allow ourselves to feel, accept and worth through our sadness, we are then able to move on and find happiness. If, however, we continue to dwell on this pain, that is when we experience suffering.
#12 – You are the only one that stands in your way.
If you find that you are falling short of your desired destination, trying focusing inward to find the cause. While outside influences may have an effect on our timelines, the directions we have to take to get there or the work required to keep moving forward, the only thing that can really hold us back and prevent us from reaching our goals and dreams is ourselves.
#13 – You are the space within which your thoughts are contained.
This is an important one to note. If you choose to contain and silence your thoughts, the space in which they are contained in the infinite space within your own mind. This means that, while you are keeping them silence to others, you are giving them the power to trap your or alter your choices and perceptions. Always be mindful of your own thoughts.
#14 – The extremes of ‘always’ and ‘never’ don’t exist.
The idea of ‘always’ and ‘never’ create a sense of powerlessness, focusing on either the past of the future. Instead, choose to live in the here and now, and accept that everything is constantly changing. Remain open to new possibilities.