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  • Brittany Hicks

Notions of Enlightenment

A take on the idea of Enlightenment and what it is and isn't.

I used to think a state of spiritual attainment such as enlightenment was like an experience of "complete healing” where there was a lack of suffering, pain, discomfort, and negative thinking. I thought that was the hallmark of self-development, spiritual attainment, and personal success. In time, my hopes of this type of state were left broken as each time I felt prolonged periods of relief from the pain, I thought I may have attained this but as time would have it there would be a fall again to the cycles of confusion, suffering, and pain both physical and emotional.

I am realizing that enlightenment or the quality of a higher spiritual state is not the absence of pain rather than the willingness to say Yes to all parts of the human experience, to have the courage to hold space for the discomfort, the courage to be aware of our thinking patterns and challenge our mind and our painful belief systems without getting totally taken over by them, the willingness to hold our broken hearts in love and compassion and to allow others to nurture us through the discomfort rather than a hope of showing others how good off we are because we had healed and achieved a state of permanent health and well-being, to know one’s self more fully and deeply, to recognize and honor the unity of all creation, to allow one's self to be included in the love they give, and to let go of being overly independent so we can be vulnerable and ask for grace and help from others.

I recognize now that the most beautiful, vulnerable, and exalted states of growth, spirituality, and enlightenment is the willingness to be with it all, accept it all, surrender to it all, and to choose to continue loving and being compassionate time and time again even when life does not always seem to reflect that back to us. That is a state of enlightened living, hope, faith, and the ability to strengthen one's Will and desire to choose and learn from love and see the creator in all that is that transcends duality, a notion of seperateness, and the veil of forgetting our true essence. Rather than seeking a state that may not be fully attainable and sustainable in this human experience, there is a different seeking now to have a Will that does not waver or collapse under temporary disillusionment of pain, fear, guilt, or shame...this is the true nectar and honey of this life. May we all find this truth and acceptance and let go of the seeking for a perfect state of existence as this is the calling to be fully alive through the imperfection and the perfection of this experience we call being Human. Sending love and light to the healing, the grieving, the weeping, the angered, the joyful, the loving...to all.