It’s quite common to become frustrated with our spiritual progress. Especially if we’re not seeing obvious results while we see others awaken or have fancy experiences. We may regret we didn’t do “the right thing” or find “the right teacher” soon enough. Or feel concern we’re not good enough or not pure enough.
Those who begin a conscious spiritual journey often feel a deep inner calling to “return home” or find peace. We may have spent some time trying to find the right path. At one time, finding a teacher could be an arduous journey. Now, we can bring teachers into our homes via the Internet, but that availability means we need more care in choice. Do we resonate with them? Do they have awake people around them? Are they open to feedback and have peer support or a tradition?
Perhaps we found what seems an excellent path but have become frustrated at our seeming lack of progress. The trick is, our path often asks us to go deeper into life experiences to work through them. For example, I spent some years moving away from a spiritual focus and into very challenging work circumstances. As that period wound down, spirituality returned to the fore and it soon became apparent the stage had been set for awakening. Some karma had been resolved plus integration completed, so the ground was ready. But that’s not so easy to see when we’re in the middle of it.
We all have an ego that is defending our status quo, trying to manage and control life for safety and security. It wants to understand and control our unfolding.
The friction between control and letting go can also create frustration. Our desire to awaken can conflict with a desire to control the outcome.
But it’s not the me that becomes enlightened. We wake up From the me. It is the cosmic Self that wakes up to itself through this body-mind. This doesn’t happen when we want, it happens when it’s best for the whole. It happens through grace.
There is profound intelligence in the world, organizing our karma, learning, and unfolding very systematically. Again, that can be hard to see when we’re in the middle of it.
From our limited perspective, it can feel like the opposite. We don’t feel I am getting what I want. How do we trust what we can’t control? Trust comes from the experience of our deeper nature.
Sometimes we find an inner push for change. Is this a calling from the deeper flows of life? Or is this our frustration bubbling to the surface in destructive ways? Maybe we just need to go for a run and work off the energy.
We also have a physiology to adapt, gradually infusing what we need to support the shifts. If we move too fast, the process can get quite bumpy.
We’re also in a very challenging time for the collective, where a lot is being pushed up for processing. This can amplify what we’ve been trying to resist. Many are venting by acting out.
Enlightenment itself isn’t a destination. It’s not a personal fulfilment. Rather, it’s a stage of development that allows a fuller experience of life. It’s something to be lived. Life is a journey. Learning to find joy in the process helps to support it.
Certainly, there can be joy in having this or achieving that. Yet such joy is always fleeting, a passing milestone on the journey. It is life itself that is joy. Bliss is in the living and the doing and the being. It’s not somewhere or somewhen else. It is here and now.
Don’t resist the frustration when it arises. Otherwise it will just build until it expresses, leaking out or exploding in awkward ways. Better to find healthy ways to express the energy. And maintain a decent practice and a reasonably balanced life.
Then, with a bit of patience, spirituality will flower and these challenges will ease. The sooner we learn this, the better. Otherwise, frustration will drag us away from what we seek.