Originally written in October 2012, I’m completely revamping this blog post in August of 2018. The original post was true to where I was in 2012, but now, I feel like there are some better ways to say what needs saying.
Honestly, I don’t use the term “integration” much if at all nowadays. In fact, I usually use the term “disintegration” more often as we find ourselves dissolving away back into our natural oneness. Who needs to integrate anything in our innate oneness?
However, for the sake of this post and since integration is a common term people use, let’s talk about that concept as well as the concept of getting stuck.
In practical terms, let’s think of integration like dancing. It’s one thing to intellectually know how to dance. It’s another to actually know how to dance physically. If a person only knows the intellectual part of how a dance should look, then they can’t actually dance. Furthermore, once the mind and body know how to dance, then the person can put their full heart and energy into it. That can transform the dance into something amazing.
So too people can learn how to really “spiritually dance” by allowing the truth to be fully integrated heart, body, mind, and energy. From that space, taking action in everyday life is transformed. It takes on a quality of effortlessness even when things are difficult.
In terms of a spiritual awakening, the awakened transformation helps us to disintegrate our ego selves so that we can discover more of our innate oneness. In realizing oneness, we find a naturally “integrated” flow in regular life that is never stuck.
On that note, however, let’s talk about being and feeling spiritually stuck.
What Is Being Spiritually Stuck?
I’d say that being spiritually stuck is a denial of the flow. When we are stuck, wherever we truly want to go and whatever we truly want to do in life are being denied by us. It’s generally being denied unconsciously, so people don’t necessarily even realize that they’re denying something. That makes things particularly confusing. This unconscious denial can happen because most people grow up and learn how to “ignore” things that matter to them to conform to social and environmental demands. This “ignorance” gets people stuck in life and on the spiritual path.
Sometimes, someone will try to jump to some ultimate spiritual truth that we are never stuck or that there is nowhere to go. But these statements must be REALIZED. In a spiritual realization, there is complete understanding. In an intellectual understanding only, the person doesn’t fully comprehend what this means. This, in and of itself, shows a lack of integration with the truth.
So we learn to be humble, and if we feel stuck, then we admit that to ourselves. For example, if we think we aren’t following our hearts in some way, we accept this, and then we try to figure out what is going on in our hearts—both what we care about and what we’re afraid of, which is usually what is causing us to get stuck.
Getting Stuck After Awakening
A spiritual awakening is a whole other animal than most people will ever face on the spiritual path. Most people do not awaken their energy, and generally, the vast majority of people have to actively and daily choose the spiritual path. They need clear guidance and focus along with regularity and tenacity. Without a lot of these things, most people will stay in their ego patterns, and that, in essence, is how most people are stuck. They cannot see beyond their ego limitations, and most people don’t even want to look.
With an awakening, the work starts getting done for you. It’s like a dam has broken inside of you, and the flooding waters are rushing everywhere throughout your life. It’s breaking down all the lies and ego habits, but unlike some sort of psychological break down, it’s doing so intelligently. The output of this spiritual shift is after something breaks, there are greater senses of love, clarity, peace, and other positive qualities. However, if you ever feel like this is a purely psychological breakdown, please get therapeutic support!
Yet despite the inner support of awakened energy, too few people are prepared to relax into the intensity that an awakening brings—and it can bring a lot! So they resist. In resisting what is arising, many people get suck, and that is an extremely uncomfortable space to be after a spiritual awakening.
Stuck in Your Resistance
Hey, I know this can be rough, particularly if you never considered yourself to be spiritual. One day, things were one way, and then the next day you were caught in this massive spiritual transformation that you didn’t ask for.
For those who did seek awakening and were spiritual, the common statement by them after a spiritual awakening is: “I didn’t think it would be like this.” Gosh, I’ve heard that one a lot. I think the ego does what it usually does and cherry-picks experiences they hear about and then melds that into an idealized, utopic vision of awakening where all life problems go away. But that’s just a fantasy. The loss of ego suffering takes away how we make things difficult, but life still has its ups and downs. Additionally, during the early years of transformation, we must face all our ego patterns and dissolve them. And that’s a lot of work.
Some people aren’t up for that inner work, and they resist. Others have had significant trauma, and that makes the purging of ego pain particularly powerful and painful. If that’s you, then truly you need to get a lot more support not just from a spiritual teacher but from friends, healers, and therapists. The awakening may be helping to flush your system, but there are some things that simply demand more support to consciously process them.
Ultimately, there are countless ways people get stuck in resistance. They may feel like they are losing things they like. They may have a really big fear of the unknown. They can feel a lot of things and have every kind of issue triggered that you can imagine, but the simple adage of “what you resist, persists” applies here. And the more you resist, the more painful this whole transformation becomes.
If you want to get unstuck, then surrender is your only option.
Surrendering to the Awakened Energy
Surrendering to awakened energy is like surrendering to a rushing river. You are not in control, and for many, the ego will flail about and struggle to regain control and stability. That doesn’t work in a river, and it doesn’t work with awakened energy. Instead, you have to learn to trust it. You have to learn to feel it and actively embrace the issues it takes you towards.
In general, anything coming up inside of you is yours. It’s very rarely anything to do with another person. A person triggering an unconscious and painful response inside of you is your issue. Remove the issue, and the person can’t trigger it any more nor can related situations. There is an element of responsibility in doing spiritual inner work properly.
However, it’s much easier for people to blame others. But you can’t wall yourself up from yourself. Eventually, mature spiritual people realize that no one makes them feel what they feel. Each feeling is a choice, and now you have to understand those unconscious choices.
In this way, getting unstuck after awakening means learning to do inner work. But to do so starts with surrendering and accepting what is arising. This helps to neutralize your resistance and begin to flow again.
Discovering What We’re Avoiding
For those who know how to do inner work, they often are confronted by different levels and types of inner work. The intellectual can take apart of their core beliefs, but once they drop into the messiness of the heart, well, the work doesn’t go so well. That’s where they get stuck because the way to be with emotions is a different form of inner work than working on the intellectual mind. Furthermore, dropping into some of the dense pain and attachments of the body is yet another depth of inner work that is unique to itself. The heart, body, mind, and energy all get addressed on their own terms.
Very often I hear people say, “I’ve worked on that issue already.” People confuse working on an issue at one or even two levels as being the whole of it. But if it is coming back again, then you are not done with it.
If anything, spiritual awakening is very honest. It shows us what we are avoiding, and again and again, it asks us to embrace it until we truly are done with an issue. Through that embrace, things can be seen, dissolved, and re-integrated. In re-integration, the energy of the pain is reunited with us and is no longer separate/pushed aside by our ego selves that thought we couldn’t handle it. The more pain we can embrace, the more powerful we become because we are united in ourselves, and we are no longer full of all these separations and inner walls that we use to attempt—and fail—to protect ourselves from our own feelings and past experiences.
Getting Stuck Again and Again
The more often you get stuck, the more likely it is time to get outside support. It’s likely that you have a blindspot, and so now is the time to find a friend, teacher, healer, or someone with a certain level of clear perspective to offer some ideas.
There are many ways that people get stuck, and it depends on the ego. For the person with a lack of a work ethic, they are likely to be stuck because they expect an awakening to do everything for them. They’ve got the flow part down. Now they need to do their part and swim. For others, they hold onto old patterns and beliefs, and so they are constantly clutching at rocks and branches in the flow. They don’t want to give up the way they used to be. Or they were willing to give up some of the things—the things they already knew they wanted to get rid of—and now they’re finding that awakening is making them also give up things that they like. Yet another type of person is the spiritual-workaholic. They’re working themselves so hard that they don’t have time to integrate what they’ve just learned and released. The river may even be slowing down, but they’re swimming through it like they’re still in the rapids. They’re getting exhausted, and that fatigue will get them stuck because they won’t be rested and ready for the next set of rapids–the next set of issues and attachments.
In this last example, the workaholic isn’t actually stuck. They’ve succeeded, but the pace of the inner shifting has changed. They need to learn to accept the slowness where others need to get better at the times when there is greater intensity.
Still Too Committed to Your Ego Beliefs
It’s amazing how people can get stuck even after years of excellent inner work. It all depends on where the ego has hidden the line in the sand. Some people will say, “Yes” to a lot of inner transformation particularly if life has been bad to them. They may feel like they’ve got nothing to lose, and then they find that part of the ego that doesn’t want to be lost. They find that part that they’re not willing to surrender, and then the whole inner transformation stops. They hit a plateau, and they go no further.
Circling back around to the idea that we can never truly be stuck, it is always possible that this “plateau” is what the person’s soul wants. Who is to say? Few people want total spiritual freedom. It’s the rare soul that will completely dissolve the ego. Usually, the more common outcome is that the person comes into a natural flow that has a lot less resistance, but probably still contains a few big rocks in the river. Big rocks can be like the fear of death or pain. They can be sexual desire or the desire to protect children. These are core instinctual responses that define the egos we create. They don’t go away overnight.
However, before jumping to the conclusion that your soul wants to plateau or be stuck to learn to some other set of important lessons, be honest. See if you are actively holding on to some ideas or ego attachments, and then go from there.
Learning More and More About Your Awakened Flow
When you are sincere, you will get better and better at knowing when you are truly stuck. There is a quality to it within you that becomes more and more discernable as you let go of your ego. In seeing that, it gets easier and easier to track it back its source. Did the mind get scared? Is something clenching in the body? Is the heart suddenly numb? Having learned to do inner work and listen to yourself, certain things become obvious. And when in doubt, go slower. There is something about slowing down that forces out the truth.
In time, some of you may dissolve enough ego to guide your awakened energy. This guidance is not for the beginner or intermediate because the ego would only try to force things towards certain outcomes. It does not understand what this spiritual transformation is about. But later on through work, humility, clarity, and love, this guidance becomes powerful. You can join with this flow and guide it towards the debris that needs to be dissolved when it feels true. That last part is critical. We have to know what intuitively feels true to guide awakened energy. Otherwise, things don’t work right, and we’re just back in a new ego game.
Surrendering Again and Humility
Again and again, we surrender to flow and to get unstuck. In surrender, we see and sense things more clearly, and we can find the blocks to our natural flow.
Ultimately, surrender is an act of humility. It is giving up our ego’s ideas about what should or should not happen, and we then do or don’t do what is required of us. Surrender is not passive, and humility is not a doormat. Rather, in time, they become more and more powerful tools that we employ to help ourselves dissolve deeper into spiritual freedom. The more dissolved into that oneness we are, the more apparent the natural flow within us and moving through us from all of life becomes. And getting stuck or feeling incomplete or feeling disintegrated become experiences of the past.
If you feel spiritually stuck and would like some help, feel free to reach out to me:
Enjoy this video too!