I have always been hypersensitive, acutely aware of others and my environment, but for many years I hid this behind my intellect, ready to pounce on anyone, my opinions fired up and ready to go.

That was, until I started changing.

I didn’t awaken spiritually as a choice. I was reluctant and terrified. It happened, almost by accident, after the fallout of a terribly toxic relationship that forced me to confront myself and the lies I had been telling myself.

As gut wrenching as the relationship was, I’m grateful for it. And I’m not just saying that. It took me a very long time to get here, but here I am. After all, if it weren’t for him, I might have sleepwalked through my life, blaming others unconsciously, while remaining behind a veil.

During the height of my awakening (I know how pretentious this sounds, but I haven’t found another word for it, so please bear with me), I began to experience strange sensations: extreme fatigue, rapid heartbeats, cold sweats in the middle of the night, kaleidoscopic, psychedelic dreams, the sensation of burning just under my skin, cluster headaches.

Something was happening to me and I could not make sense of it, as hard as I tried. I could no longer hide behind argument. My anger was subsiding, my intellect dulled, softened by a growing sense of compassion. My old ways of being were dying. The thing was, I wasn’t sure what was emerging in their place.

One night, after being awoken, drenched in sweat, from a particularly menacing dream about 4 years ago, I Googled “Symptoms of Spiritual Shifts.” I was desperate. Uh oh, I thought. I have crossed over. Has it really come to this?

What felt like 1,000 hits popped up. You have got to be kidding me, I thought. Website after website with the same symptoms listed. Some called them Ascension Symptoms, others Kundalini Rising and others Spiritual Awakening Symptoms. Whatever they were, I had them all. I got checked by doctors, only to find nothing medically wrong with me. I was, by all accounts, in perfect health.

And yet, it certainly felt like I was dying.

Sometimes my bones would ache or my back would go out for no apparent reason and I would need, without warning, to remain in bed for 24 hours, mostly sleeping. During these periods, my dreams were dizzying in their intensity and I would wake, not feeling rested at all, starving. Other days, I found myself foggy and lightheaded, unable to focus or eat.

And then, again for no apparent reason, the symptoms would lift.

After each round of this, I found myself mysteriously lighter, as if something ineffable had been lifted. I couldn’t wrap my head around it, but I knew, somehow, that what was occurring was magical and mystical. I knew I was changing form, literally and figuratively. And yet, my life was at a standstill. Externally, things seemed to be getting worse. I was hired and then let go from a job within months of one another. I was swept up in a brief, but disastrous affair, that left me riddled with insecurity for months. I was at war with my siblings. I found myself sobbing on the floor for days on end.

And yet, after each of these episodes, there would be some miraculous shift and I would find myself once again giggling with delight, increasingly liberated from the noise in my head.

It wasn’t until much later that I began to truly digest what had occurred, that whatever density I was burning off was rendering me anew. I was moving deeper and deeper into my authentic self. I was, in other words, letting go—of the judgments that had plagued me and the absurd notions about the way life is supposed to be.

I had discovered a new way of being. And so much of that, it turns out, is energetic. It cannot be understood or rationalized or thought through. It has to be felt, which makes sense if you actually think about it. Because, after all, we’re all just matter, constantly reacting and responding to our environment. So in order to really experience ourselves authentically, in order to truly connect to our intuition and our body, something would have to shift, wouldn’t it? There would need to be a release.

I still cannot quite wrap my head around it, but maybe I don’t have to. Maybe that’s the point. Because I’m happier than I’ve ever been and I’m living more authentically than I ever thought possible. Isn’t that proof enough?

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