Spirit Looking Through My Eyes

As time passes it becomes clear that I am seeing the world as spirit. The “me” looking out through my eyes has changed.

For many years, I invested myself in a world that didn’t seem like spirit at all. I tried to fit into the world, to make my way, to find love and love others, to be a good partner, a caring dad, to learn the workings of the world and help where I could. Those intentions were fine. I cherished them.

But the insecurity of falling short over and over was unbearable. And we cannot help but fall short.

The insecurity brought dread and self-loathing. I tried to sooth those painful feelings with alcohol. It worked for a while, but alcohol only works for a while. Then it quits working. After that, it produces its own dread and self-loathing.

I tried to wrestle peace out of the darkness of a world without spirit. A fool’s errand. There is no peace in darkness. I fell further and further behind in my goal of being a decent person.

Thank heavens a crash came. The crash was inevitable. It was my health. And surprisingly, it came with an overwhelming feeling of relief and a final, “OK, I give up.”

Surrender was all I had left, but I had no idea that surrender was a door, the only door. My surrender was followed quickly by healing. It was surrender and healing, over and over, day after day.

Once I was back on my feet – a bit wobbly – it was clear I had become a different creature. Something else was looking out through my eyes. And the world I saw had become a spiritual place. Now I know that it had been spiritual all along. My eyes were finally seeing the truth.

A friend observed that my spiritual awakening was not intentional. Indeed it was not. It came through a life-threatening health crisis. Nor can I credit myself for my recovery. Recovery came through medical science and sustained sobriety. I can’t even credit myself for the sobriety. When I awoke into this new world, all desire for mind-altering substances was gone.

So I can’t say follow my path. Please don’t. But I can say, the world is a spiritual place to the eyes that look out through me to the world. It’s a spiritual place for you as well.

Why Do We Seek a Spiritual Awakening?

Sometimes we actively pursue a spiritual awakening, sometimes we find ourselves drawn to spirituality without a clear idea of seeking something specific. Any number of things in our lives can prompt us toward spirituality.

Difficulties most often bring us to the spiritual. Dealing with addiction, abuse, family estrangement, financial stress. We begin to see that something in our lives has to change. In some cases, spirituality seems to hover in our lives, and we reach a point where it is finally time to reach out and connect to it.

In the song, “Suzanne,” Leonard Cohen sings, “Jesus was a sailor when he walked upon the water, and he spent a long time watching from his lonely wooden tower, and when he knew for certain only drowning men could see him, he said all me shall be sailors then until the sea shall free them.”

The most common answer given from those who seek spirituality is the desire for peace. People want an end to discomfort, pain, distress, anxiety, or depression.

Fear in its many forms may be the critical prompt to spirituality. In A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis wrote that “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness.”

Elizabeth Kubler Ross said, “There are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt.

So we seek love. And we find that the love we crave cannot be found in a relationship. We can bring love to a relationship, but we can’t get the real love we need from a relationship. We get the love we really need from a deep place within, and that’s where our spirituality resides.