My Spiritual Awakening – A Spiritual Story by Pat Archer
For most of my life I was an agnostic but that all changed for me in 2004! I didn't become spiritual all of a sudden but the impetus to follow a spiritual pathway was sudden.
Up until that point in time I often had a tendency to feel sorry for myself and in fact engineered situations (either deliberately or subconsciously) that gave me a reason to have a pity party. From the age of about 30 or so, I would set aside time when I could be alone to watch sad movies or listen to sad music which would trigger off a crying spell and once I was in that sad mood, I would allow myself to dwell on all my grievances, regrets and memories which added fuel to my mood. But when I was around other people I was pretty good at pretending I was happy unless someone teased or criticised me, in which case I could cry about it for days. I took everything very seriously.
It all came to the crunch in early 2004 when I decided to start my own business after doing a course in small business management. But I couldn't get motivated. So I spent a great deal of time reading motivational stuff on the net. I kept reading that I was responsible for the garbage in my life and part of me believed it but part of me wouldn't accept it. I also realised that running a business was the first really adult thing I had ever tried to do in my life. And I rebelled against it. At the same time I was convinced that most people didn't really like me and so I was avoiding contact with friends and family much of the time, often remaining shut in my flat for days on end. I thought I was doing people a favour if I stayed out of their lives as much as possible.
One day, the 5th of May 2004 to be precise, I was sitting at the computer reading all this stuff and I had a sort of tantrum that got out of control. I was thinking, I don't want to be responsible for myself; I want someone to rescue me. I don't even want to work. Why should I have to? I just want to have fun. It isn't fair … blah blah blah blah blah.
Then suddenly, I was overtaken by a feeling that is indescribable. Although I was still in my room, that wasn't what I was seeing; I lost all concept of place and time. I was in a totally desolate place with no sign of life, not even a blade of grass existed, just dry cracked earth. It was as though the whole world had been annihilated and I was the sole survivor. And I was left with a very definite message, You think you want to be alone? I'll show you what alone really is!
I can't even begin to describe the feeling of shock, horror, fear and total aloneness. And I felt this unbearable pain, worse than anything humanly imaginable, but it wasn't physical; it felt like something was trying to rip my soul out of my body. And for the first time in my life I prayed, Please God, please help me. Is anyone out there? Please help me. I didn't make a conscious decision to pray; I did it instinctively.
Well after some time, probably only minutes but it felt much longer, it stopped. I felt very rattled and somewhat confused for the next couple of days. Then three days later I suddenly realised that something had changed. The negative voice in my head had disappeared; it had been there since I was a very young child (less than 5 years old).
I said to myself, I think my negative voice has gone. And a voice answered, Yes it has and it won't come back unless you allow it. At the time I had no curiosity as to who answered me but on later reflection, I believe it is quite possible that it was God Himself. I have never again heard His voice audibly though. Also, I realised that the burden of guilt which I had carried most of my life had been dissolved.
And then I felt a wonderful love feeling (which I now call the God feeling); I
never knew I could feel like that. I just sat there for hours saying, wow. The God feeling has happened many times since but never for such a long period of time, although I often experience a milder version where I can still function normally and get amazing insights, wisdom or creative bursts. I think that God sent me that wonderful feeling, at least in the early days, so that I would know that the wisdom I was receiving came from Him. As time went on and I developed more intuitive awareness, I found it easier to recognise the truth myself.
So it was my desire to experience that feeling again that kept me glued to a spiritual pathway. I spent the greater part of my days for around 18 months studying, meditating, discussing, analysing etc and at the same time digging up and disposing of all the trash in my past. I didn't have a bad childhood; I wasn't abused or anything (just consistently criticised) and I was properly fed and protected but my parents were undemonstrative and I had failed to learn what love was or even how to relate to other people. I had a very highly developed left brain and a sadly lacking right brain.
But in a series of leaps interspersed with plateaus I finally figured a lot of things out. I had help here and there and one of the most helpful things of all was a channelling done by a very talented psychic (my reiki master). Some very interesting stuff came out of that including the fact that I had shut down my senses as a child to avoid pain and fear (I fell into the kerosene heater when I was 2) and so I was only receiving a fraction of the input from around me. I guess I had a high IQ to compensate or it developed because I had little to distract me. It does explain why I had felt very little connection to others during my life up to that point and found it difficult to understand a lot of things which are instinctive for many people.
According to my Higher Self, during the episode described above (which I call my freak out), part of my brain exploded because of all the conflicting and negative data in there and it left a big vacuum so it was easy for God to come in. So that was why I was able to accomplish a decade or two of spiritual growth in a relatively short period of time.
I am immensely grateful for everything that has happened to me (including the freak out). There have been many challenges since but there has also been very rapid growth. After a couple of years it did level off and the lessons became more subtle. There were often several different parts that had to be amalgamated before I could work out what the lesson was.
Sometimes I have periods where nothing seems to be happening. I tend to get bored and restless at such times but I guess it is part of the spiritual journey to find contentment during the voids. I really seem to only feel alive when I am learning a new spiritual lesson (good or bad) and have yet to learn to be more patient before the next lesson arrives.
I find it very hard to believe at times that God has only been in my life for 5 years. It is hard now to imagine what my life was like beforehand. In fact God has become the most important factor in my life, the one constant amid the changes.
After being agnostic for most of my life, Pat became a believer just a few years ago and has been on an amazing spiritual journey ever since.
Personal Reflection Questions
Spiritual stories are an opportunity to reflect on your own life. Here are 10 questions you can use to go deeper with the teachings in this story:
- Begin by contemplating your own spiritual journey: How has the trajectory of your beliefs and connection to the divine evolved over the course of your life?
- Reflect on the transformative year of 2004: Have you experienced moments in your life that served as a catalyst for a significant shift in your perspective or beliefs?
- Explore the tendency to feel sorry for oneself: How do you navigate moments of self-pity, and what triggers or patterns contribute to these emotions in your life?
- Contemplate the narrator's deliberate engagement with sadness: Do you have rituals or habits that allow you to delve into your emotions, and how do they influence your overall well-being?
- Ponder the rebellion against adulthood and responsibility: In what ways do you grapple with the responsibilities of life, and how does it shape your sense of self?
- Explore the narrator's avoidance of social contact: How do your relationships with friends and family impact your sense of isolation or connectedness?
- Delve into the pivotal moment of realization on May 5, 2004: Have you experienced moments of profound realization or awakening that reshaped your perception of life?
- Contemplate the indescribable feeling of aloneness: How do you grapple with the existential aspects of your own existence, and what insights arise in moments of solitude?
- Reflect on the narrator's plea for help: In times of difficulty, how do you reach out for support or guidance, whether through prayer or other means?
- Ponder the aftermath of the transformative experience: How have moments of spiritual awakening or realization impacted your perspective on yourself, your negative self-talk, and your relationship with a higher power?
May these reflections guide you through the labyrinth of your own spiritual journey, unraveling the threads that connect you to the divine and the profound shifts within your own soul.