Glimpses of the other side - My spiritual awakening

Submitted into Contest #86 in response to: Write about a character coming out of a long hibernation (either literal or metaphorical).... view prompt


Inspirational Creative Nonfiction

I long to discover what being on the other side is like.

I've had elusive whiffs of it. I've taken fleeting glimpses of it - miniscule parts of an overwhelmingly wide vista. I've tasted the robust flavor of it. I've felt the consummate warmth of it. I've heard of its amazing splendor. How do I get there? Well, that is my secret.

You see, I have visited the other side, but I have not truly

been a part of it. Each time I rouse from my physical sleep, I have a mission

in mind, and that is to access the other side. Although my senses have

perceived a tip of it, although I have been a visitor, I know that I am

not a permanent occupant. I know this because when the visit ends, I

unwillingly retreat to my current, make-believe reality.

There is one good thing which comes from cheating my way to the other side: I get to witness where I want to be. My goals are

sprawled along in a fancy and attractive exhibition there. Seeing them glimmer

like that, within my eager reach, awakens a desire to work hard for them when I return to my reality. I know that if I can get there by cheating, then I can get

there authentically as well. The difference between the two is that the former

is temporary and lacks long term fulfilment, whereas the latter is permanent

and comes with its fill of glory.

It has come to my attention just how in control I am. The pace

with which I can reach the other side in an authentic manner is entirely up to

me. Do I want to crawl or do I want to run? It depends on how I see it, I

guess. If my only focus is the destination, then running seems more of an ideal

alternative. However, if the trip itself is appreciated, then it is all the sweeter

when success is on the horizon. I think the idea of savoring each slow step is

becoming more appealing to me as I look at it from both perspectives. Ah, the

importance of the bird’s-eye view.

As I trudge forward, a tempest of resistance occasionally shows up and throws me off course. That happens so many times. One moment, I am in-lieu with the current, and then the next, the current suddenly transforms into treacherous tidal waves which carry me astray. In their seemingly relentless nature, they leave me feeling completely out of control. These are the times when my energy reserves are at their lowest. This is when I think about giving up and giving in, and sometimes, I do. I give up. I give in. The walk is too complicated. The obstacles are too frequent and too broad. I cannot take it anymore.

 The next part in this ostensibly endless cycle is one of my favorites. Something happens which is beyond my control, which makes it possible for me to go back to the original current, to the calmness of it. Sort of like, a mighty, cosmic strike descending from the heavens and thunderously slicing the waters in half, leaving bare ground for me to walk back to the calmness of the current. This is the best time for me, because I know that I am being given another chance. I am being pardoned. I am being nurtured by something which is beyond my true understanding, and I notice it all around me during the times that I walk along the calm current.

I remember when I used to be in an endless loop of destruction, without the saving help. No calm currents exist there. It is only the tidal waves. The tidal waves without the heavenly strikes. The tidal waves without the bare ground. There, the gargantuan waves carry you farther, farther and farther. Infinitely farther, to the point where you start believing that you are faced with a taunting ultimatum either to live in suffering, or to take your own life and find peace. I was there for an awfully long time, and it was when I could hardly cope with life.

The tsunamis became the norm, which caused me to seek effective avoidant tools, tools that made it possible for me to roll with the punches without consciously participating in the thunderous cataclysm. The means of escape are endless. The cheating is all you will ever be willing to live, and cheat, I did. I cheated through life, and the poor quality of all aspects of my psyche was testimony of that. But it was not because I found joy in cheating. It was because running was easier. The imposing tidal waves had me completely on the run. If I could live a life of oblivion as opposed to committing suicide, then I would do it, in whatever means possible. I would run. Ultimatums be damned. Funny, because in oblivion, I have had the worst of experiences. Experiences which would have led my life to its end anyway. Whichever choice I made, it seemed, led to the end of the rope.

I remember when the cosmic strike, the divine intervention, the awakening, happened for the first time. I did not know what it was back then, but I could feel the effects of it within the core of my being. I was dead, in hibernation from life, spiritually incapacitated, for years, living my life in wasteful mediocrity and cyclic destruction, and then just like that, I was woken. My arousal was momentous. It is my life’s most memorable and influential milestone.

Today, here I am, in a state of heightened consciousness, just another one of my unsolicited visits to the other side. To spiritual consciousness – a consciousness that is cleansed of egoistic paradigms. To a place where understanding may be found unbounded. Understanding which helps me make life choices that will inevitably catapult my life into new and exciting heights. Understanding which is the key into pinpointing areas in my current life that need urgent change. Understanding which allows me to alter and keep track of altered perception. Understanding which leads me to the map of my life goals, to the map of my success.

I find that the more I grow spiritually, the more daunting my life’s challenges become. In my make-believe reality, without the deep connection to the wisdom that I like to sneak a spy on at the other side, I lose focus a lot, but I also trudge forward in ways which speak about my strength - strength the magnitude of which I’d never wielded before. This is testimony of my growth, and it makes me feel proud of how far I’ve come, of how much I've blossomed.

There have been so many cosmic strikes since the initial one. Big ones and small ones alike. They happen during the times I hit a brick wall. When somehow, I bring myself to a position where the current flows against the direction I’ve chosen to take.

I panic a lot now. I remember what it was like to be in hibernation, to be a spiritual sleeping beauty, and so I try to be perfect. I try to get everything right all the time, until I become burned out, until I totally crash. I do this because I believe that only if I am perfect, will I truly be accepted unconditionally by divine grace. Cognitively, I grasp the fact that I have been accepted all along, but my paradigm says otherwise. My actions and behaviors are rife with self-sabotage. I expect conditional love from God, and as a result, the conditional love is what I perceive. And so I panic when I am not perfect.

The fear’s influence is losing strength, however, because I am aware of it and I am actively finding ways to tackle its primary root. My awareness of this fear would likely not have been possible had it not been for my trip to the other side, had it not been for my cheating route. I may cheat in abstract understanding, but I know that physically, emotionally and mentally, I will have to work extremely hard in order to authentically get there.

I’ve made my visits to the other side, but I have not truly been a part of it. I am on my way there, though. These days, there are no giant Tsunamis threatening to take me away. There are only wild waves, and the current is much easier to reach when I’ve lost my way. I’ve made friends with the abstract understanding attained from the other side and am implementing those insights to reach my desired goals in my current reality.

For someone who wants to be perfect all the time, cheating in this way is not enough reason to cast me back into hibernation, into hell, is it? Why, then, do I feel like I need to be perfect all the time or else that’s exactly what will happen?

My life has been messy in the last couple of years since the days of the tidal waves, and the mess doesn’t necessarily go away once the tidal waves are downscaled. The challenges of life grow with us. I try to accept that, but it scares me even though I know it should not. But how can I expect to be given a first grader’s test paper when I am in the second grade? And yet, with my behavior, that is the tale I tell of my preference.

And so when I am scared, I resort to go within and above. I resort to explore the idea of what is it like on the other side. I go to take a whiff of it. I go to witness glimpses of it. I go to taste the richness of it. I go to bask in the warmth it.

I go to listen to its truths.

March 26, 2021 19:31

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