FEATURE - September 2018
The Sacred Journey to Spiritual Awakening
By Therese Inzerillo
Within each heart is a yearning, a yearning for connection…wholeness…meaning…validation…and most of all, love. We spend our lives trying to fill this hole within us so that we can feel complete. Often it is filled with empty, misguided emotions such as fear, resentment, and unworthiness. Our lives are often ruled by addictions, such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, food, money, control and innumerable other things that give us momentary pleasure but rob us of our true joy. We are left feeling emptier than before; and yet, the longing remains. We continue to evade the very thing that is the ultimate answer … the Divine within us and all around us. Deepak Chopra once said that “Addictions are a longing for the Divine.” It is a precursor to a desire to unite with something greater than our self.
The road to this realization can be short or long, and the experiences are as varied as the night sky peppered with stars. We are each unique expressions of this Divine essence and our journey toward the realization of our Truth can be excruciatingly painful, or ecstatically joyful. It is our choice. It is all part of our evolvement. But first, we must awaken. And once we do, we then consciously step onto the path of our sacred journey.
Each soul incarnated here, at this specific place and time, by choice, to have experiences that bring wisdom and nurturing to our soul. Along our journey, free will is utilized, shaping and molding the course of our lives through our choices.
In moments of weakness, choices may be made that cause determent from the goal. But even those choices are a positive learning, once the Truth is realized and they are corrected. What people fail to understand is that ultimately, there are no “wrong turns” or “failures”, only choices. These choices shape whether your experience is joyful or painful. The challenge is that when something “traumatic” happens, instead of “extracting the wisdom and the love”, which is the purpose of the experience, we often carry the baggage with us. This drastically alters us, as false beliefs, fear and negativity can be integrated into our spirits and accepted as reality.
What we need to understand is that all life is merely an illusion. It is a manifestation of our inner experiences, played out in a physical arena where we can evaluate, understand and integrate the lesson. Our life is meant to bring wisdom, joy, and ultimately love.
Our true mission is to learn to “expand our capacity to love” until we can love unconditionally and eternally as the Divine loves us. When we learn to apply that love to all areas of our life we develop a new perspective. We learn to cultivate an intimate relationship with the Divine wherein we “fill ourselves” up with this love energy so that we do not need to manipulate others to get our needs met. We learn to love ourselves with the same love that the Divine loves us and to treat ourselves in ways that nourish and nurture our bodies, minds, emotions, and spirits. Finally, we learn to love all others in the same way we love the Divine and ourselves, understanding that each one is merely a reflection of the whole and that we are all connected. This is the basis of the “Golden Rule” which is found in all sacred scriptures—the standard by which we are told to live our lives. “To love the Lord, your God, with your whole heart, soul, and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself.”
If one is not in alignment with the Divine, in any given moment, we have the capacity to release all that no longer serves us and begin again. Sometimes we need prompting from someone whom we trust to assist us, such as a spiritual teacher, clergy or a trusted friend. Once we release the baggage and learn the miracle of forgiveness for our self and others, it is often advantageous to seek guidance from a mentor to help encourage our development so that we can cultivate and deepen our relationship with the Divine. It is necessary to learn how to go within, listen and follow our intuition, and commune with Spirit, which will lead us to situations and individuals who will enhance our life.
First-hand spiritual encounters, known as “mystical” experiences are as ancient as life itself and imperative to the process of evolution of the soul. They help us realize and feel the Truth and come to know the Oneness of all creation and our place in it. We are guided by wisdom and inspiration, and lifted to a place of joy, filling us with love. It can also be helpful to seek the support of group connections that will uplift and inspire us. It has been shown that there is a synergist effect to our spiritual growth in group settings.
Spiritual adventures and retreats to places of beauty that carry sacred energy and historical insights can bring just what a spiritual seeker is longing for. Sacred sites can evoke spiritual encounters catapulting the seeker into a place of peace, tranquility and union with the Divine. With the distractions of life set aside, and true devotion upon honoring the connections with Spirit, the seeker begins to open to a new paradigm and perception, allowing wisdom to bring forth guidance into an unfoldment of their soul.
Spiritual retreats usually balance group encounters, meditative time alone, fun and adventure, wisdom and truth lessons, and historical inspiration to nurture a healthy spiritual relationship with the Divine. Commune with the sacredness of a sunset. Feel the magnificence of a waterfall cascade over you. Sense the spirits of an ancient ruin, or a Cathedral of grandeur.
Come full circle into an awakening of joy as you release the burdens and embrace the love that you are meant to be. Step forth into a Namaste Journey—a sacred journey honoring the Divine within and all around you.
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Therese Inzerillo facilitates spiritual adventures and retreats at sacred sites through “Namaste Journeys” to uplift, inspire and educate. She is a spiritual teacher, inspirational speaker, holistic health practitioner, interfaith minister and writer. Contact her at 602-579-1994, firstname.lastname@example.org or thereseinzerillo.us for more information.