I consider myself very privileged to be in a position to facilitate spiritual awakenings for clients who are open to develop their spirituality. It’s such an honour to be part of someone’s awakening process and so humbling to witness the growth of a soul. A lot of our clients are highly-accomplished professionals and successful businesspeople who are left-brain dominant; whilst their structured, analytical minds have aided in their professional success, it’s an obstacle when it comes to emotional healing. Hence, we often spend quite a lot of time breaking through their tendencies to intellectualise the process so that they can deepen into the realm where true healings can take place.
When you intellectualise the process, you do a number of things: trying to put ideas into clearly-labelled boxes; being sceptical of concepts that do not appeal to your logical brain; over-analysing your feelings; the inability to be open-minded about random, subjective matters; and being too structured and linear in planning how you want the outcomes to look like.
But spirituality does not conform to boxes, or necessarily fit into logic, or stand up to analyses. It cannot be planned in structured and linear ways. It may not even be possible to put into words. What are these boxes anyway if not something constructed by our limited brain? Spirituality is amorphous, unstructured, pliable, circular, often paradoxical, mysterious, and full of undiscovered potential.
Since I take a spiritual approach to treatment, I see addiction as a gateway to discovering one’s true, awakened self. In that sense, I tend to see every individual who checks into our residential rehab as a soul on the cusp of finding a renewed sense of who they are. The process often entails the breaking down of the illusions of their ego – seeing through what’s false and inauthentic so that they come back to a total appreciation of the beauty of their spirit.
The flowering of the soul when finding its way back home is a beautiful process that defies what the logical, rational mind can understand. It can only be understood by experiencing it and letting go of the need to understand it conceptually. Bring your level of understanding from the mind to the heart, for this is where growth happens. The more you are willing to surrender, the faster you’ll get there. Whenever I see clients struggling to make sense of it, I tell them, “Do not be perplexed, but be in awe of it.” When you’re perplexed, you are attempting to find answers through your logical mind. When you’re in awe, you simply surrender to the experience while retaining an open heart. The former creates limitations while the latter allows you to flow with the process of change, resulting in quicker healings.
When clients come to us for help, they have become stuck in their self-imposed structures – either through their own limiting beliefs or allowing others’ agendas to mark the boundaries around their actions and behaviours. They’re unable to see their way out. A lot of times, the solutions are found by mentally removing these structures and seeing what is possible when they’re no longer boxed in by those limitations. This applies not just to one’s physical environment but also to the beliefs they rigidly hold on to.
But to let go of these structures, there needs to be some sense of a safe alternative presented. Otherwise, it will truly feel like death – in letting go of your grip on what has kept you safe and falling into the chasm of nothingness. A deep depression or hollowness can manifest temporarily as a symptom of the death of your ego – sometimes known as “the dark nights of the soul”. This isn’t a bad thing, no matter how uncomfortable it may feel. The pendulum will start swinging back to the opposite polarity, bringing you back into light, once you’ve reached the depth of despair. In emerging out of darkness, you’ll pick up various aspects of your true, authentic self, until you arrive at a higher form of yourself – more alive and whole than ever.
The alternative that needs to be presented to encourage you to let go of rigidly-held beliefs will not form into convenient little structures. But a trust that there is something else worth experiencing will enable you to let go of what isn’t working anymore. And when you begin to feel the mysterious in-betweens, be in awe of your discovery and let yourself be brought home on a wondrous journey.