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Cleaning Up

 Until we make the needed repairs, our lives will be no more presentable than before our awakening and will be little less than a phase we went through.

When I was a young man I didn’t have a lot of money for a new home. No problem, my agent found me a “fixer-upper”.  It seemed the owner was elderly and no longer able to care for the property. The home would be mine if I would waive the inspection and accept the home as it was. While I was delighted to buy the home; I also dreaded making the needed repairs–but that’s another story.  It took three years of sweat equity to bring the house to a state where it was presentable. This is similar to the awakening process.

Upon awakening, we discover any number of things about our lives needing repair and cleaning. Ken Wilber describes this stage of the journey as “cleaning up.”  Until we make the needed repairs, our lives will be no more presentable than before our awakening and will be little less than a phase we went through.

Many people believe that an awakened person is suddenly transported into a realm where all things makes sense and former problems go away–and there is truth to that; but it doesn’t happen right away.  Awakening is the beginning of a new journey where Source works its will through us. In the New Testament we read where Jesus, after being baptized and receiving the Spirit, went into the wilderness for 40 days and nights. We also read how Saul of Tarsus, who after experiencing the blinding light on the road to Damascus, spent the next three years in Arabia.  Even though these men were fully awakened, there were loose ends needing attention.  We are no different. Before the old life can be left behind, Source must reformulate it for the new.

The process can be disorienting.  Upon realizing the truth of who we fully are, we may feel as though we are holding a basket of 100 random parts representing what used to be our lives. We may not be sure about what to keep and what to throw out. These parts include old friends and loves, vocations, faith traditions, unresolved dramas and conflicts, bad habits and addictions, lack of vocabulary to adequately describe our experience, and so on. All of these, with Source’s help, must be brought to resolution if we are to progress further. Like the owner of a new home, we must now landscape, paint and remodel the property to our liking.

For years I struggled with poor self-esteem, anger and jealousy. I had a heavy dose of what is known in Alcoholics Anonymous as stinkin’ thinkin’!  No matter what success I obtained, it was never satisfying or enough.  I wanted more and more. I was dissatisfied with so many things. I felt victimized when I did not receive what I thought I justly deserved. I was critical of people, places and things.  This prominent ego-personality state was something that had been with me my entire life. The God realized state vaporized these concerns–but not the situations that had been created by them.  I have found that it takes time for new behaviors to sink in among family, coworkers, and friends–as well as those who were used to me joining them in negativity. Some friendships must be left behind, some fences must be mended, and many new modifications made that are more suited for an awakened person.

Before awakening, my efforts at cleaning up and changing were based upon ego and willpower.  I felt I had to make something happen–but this was little more than the cry of the ego-personality trying to control my life in a different way than before.  After awakening, Source is doing what the illusory self cannot and uses my mind and emotions in new ways as it goes about aligning the physical and nonphysical realities.