Being “Broken open”
We know not the day nor the hour when such a significant event will occur. It may come upon us lightly and quietly at first and randomly with unexpectedness. It is never something we plan for. It is more like we are all at once “seasoned and ripe enough” to withstand all that comes with being broken open. We can similarly view the event as that visitor who comes unexpectedly with news that has the power crush us. We’ve all watched the war movies where the official uniformed messenger brings the family news of the death or capture of their son, husband or loved one. The messenger is a stranger who inadvertently becomes the witness of the most humbling of circumstances. The excruciating break-down of all hope which releases the defenses and previous-masks which hold us erect. The messenger observes the rawness of others as they experience the beginning of being broken open. And our experience of an Awakening has many similarities which every other human can relate to, although they may use unique verbal expression to describe some or all of the aspects we will explore here.
An Event changes you
Death, divorce, change in job status, loss of home, illness, and/or other catastrophes — sometimes several at once are some of the forces which cause us to slow down, simplify, change, re-examine who we are and what our life means to us. These are events that we cannot ignore, and cause us to reassess what our priorities are, and what we are willing to let go of.
Our personality part assures us that whatever is occurring, is not that important and we are directed by inner voices that “this will pass”. We are further directed to not lose our rhythm, or our ability to stay on our daily course. Predictability becomes our band aid or perhaps the better word is our tourniquet. Deep within us, we know things are different; at the very least more painful, but we usually have enough going on around us within our schedule, that we can ignore what ever is brewing within us. At least at first. And that brewing mass is not even clear to us anyways. We are not yet ready to completely face that dark soup because we are not really in the place of understanding. I mean how could we be?
The soup is made up of so many things. Things we can’t see, things that we have no names for. Events that occurred so early in our lives that they were placed in the darkest recesses of our unconsciousness. Before words; perhaps even before birth. A time when only sensations communicated with us. Emotions cannot be adequately identified and instead bubble up within our bodies like unsavory remnants; showing up in all different parts of our bodies. One day we can’t breathe, the next day our voice doesn’t work, and following that, a rash breaks out absurdly. Pain moves throughout our physical self with seemingly no prelude. The discomfort feels haphazard and without order. Our analytical mind looks at this event as a large jigsaw puzzle, and rushes to put the pieces of reasoning together for us, so that we can make sense of what is occurring. However, we may be exactly poised, like a perfect storm which sends us over the cliff to our crash and burn, yet understanding what occurred may take months or even years.
We have all heard the saying “that situation left me a changed person… I will never be the same again”. The words are spoken at the crossroads of a pivotal transformation. If ego is kept at bay, and the higher-self remains engaged, then the human makes changes to their lives which embrace higher ways of thinking and responding to events and people which surround them. If they fall back into the familiar default methods of before the trauma, then they often go back to sleep, or may even be propelled into a more stuck state through emotional responses such as hurt, bitterness and blame.
Also common is when one enters the sweet numbing realm of addictions so as to escape. A byproduct of awakening includes the amplification of physical sensation and emotion which is not comfortable. We may find ourselves moving and processing more slowly. We may find that it takes much more effort to keep on walking in the same manner as before. And along the way, we ask ourselves how we ever walked at such a fast pace for so long. We decide it is just not that important to stay at that quick and directive pace. Keeping up with others, and with timelines, schedules or goals. The usefulness becomes illusive. We are immersed in disillusionment, and wonder how we got here?
An Awakening occurs when being impacted and jostled by life events which become overwhelming and finally bring us to our knees. It could be a series of events, or a monumental event and all of us experience common aspects of Awakening which can be described, yet the experience remains unique and intimate to each of us as individuals.
Working as a mediator, I often met individuals who were experiencing being “broken-open” by challenging and tragic events. That term is so accurate for those of us who have had the Awakening experience. Being broken-open is like a pause within our predictable lives which stun us like a taser gun would. We find ourselves going in slow motion or perhaps like we are walking in a fog. The outcome of the experience brings us a new view of our old surroundings, a new perspective of our lives including showing us the errors of how we up until the now, prioritized the people, events and things that encompass our lives. What ever the event is, it ferociously levels us to our core issues, so that we are forced to go inward to find and retrieve our core-essence, and develop a more intimate relationship with our higher consciousness.
Before an awakening, it felt like our higher consciousness really didn’t have thoughts or a voice that we interacted with. That does not mean the Higher Consciousness was not around us attempting to engage with us. We were simply not in the place of listening closely enough to make changes a priority. Before the event of Awakening, we may have thought about such changes momentarily, but breaking-open will strip us down to our core, and induces changes rapidly.
My own Awakening
My own awakening experience has taught me that it happens in phases. There will be some dominant situations which alert us that something substantial has occurred, and we suddenly become the witness of the many internal changes occurring within us at that time. For me, the beginning phase was the birthing, or the emergence of my own internal observer. I was now able to watch myself from another more objective vantage point. Not only did I become the watcher, but I also heard my own thoughts, and felt sensations within my body that I had never registered before. Perhaps our internal observer must mature and ripen, and finally be birthed from exquisite pain. I call it exquisite pain, because anyone who has experienced the magnitude of the many events which gather together like a storm to create such an awakening, they know also of the sweetness that walks hand in hand with the agony.
In my childhood years, I was unaware of when parts of me became individuated fragments because of trauma. We, the experiencers can identify these times of trauma easily. They may be intentional or oblivious acts from others in our life who engage with us in differing roles. When enough splitting occurs, we no longer have a wholeness to us. We have separate parts or aspects of us that take turns showing up at differing times and sometimes taking over by running our human vehicle.
The animated 2015 Pixar movie called “Inside-out” is a simplification of this concept I bring forward about parts of us running our vehicle. The movie introduced five mere emotions, and how each of them interact, and impact the lives of Riley and her parents, during some significant changes in her family life. Our own human experience brings forth to us many more than five emotional components. We have many aspects which get stuck or frozen in time, at differing junctures of our lives and which need to be brought back into our integration once they are recognized, and healing occurs.
The differing aspects also differ in age, because they become frozen at the age where the trauma occurred. They are the wounded inner-children that require our adult-part to find, parent and heal them back into the rest of us. This is a most important phase, because when we are willing to do our own inner-healing, then we are more equipped to be helpful to the world around us – to respond to our families, communities and our world from a better self.
When we become wounded, we are not awake, and we have defenses and masks which keep us oblivious and numb. The defenses and masks allow us to thrive and survive. They cover the core inner essence which we came into Earth life with.
Once we are wounded and further along our human life, we may find ourselves walking along our path of life, without feeling much at all. When we notice, we inquire to ourselves as to why we feel so little; why are we numb? Awakening occurs only at the time when we are ready to make substantial changes. Awakening doesn’t guarantee change, it is simply the opportune time for change. It is when our higher conscious mind renders us ready and able to make such quantum leaps to higher levels of understanding and actions. Like a bus that comes while we await at the bus stop, we may step upon the bus, or we may allow the bus to pass us by. Free will gives us such a choice.
If you feel that an Awakening has occurred, and you would value a Spiritual Mentor to assist your navigation through the broken open process, feel free to contact me.