You have only one job on the road to spiritual awakening: Make room. Spirit yearns for us just as much as we yearn for Spirit. Instead of chasing the Light, simple clear out the dark and the Light will fill the space. Shadow work (ego work) is our only job, everything else just flows naturally.
The amazing part is the lengths people will go to to avoid ego work. It’s impressive. Everything from addiction, to denial, to spiritual bypassing all in an effort to maintain the illusion of self. The body wants to live, but also accepts death. The ego, on the other hand, won’t even consider death, and will pull every dirty trick around to stay in complete control. You are NOT your ego, you are the observer. Your ego works for you, not the other way around, as long as you remain aware. Know Thyself. Know your ego’s tricks, and it no longer controls you.
Avoidance, in its many forms, is essentially an unwillingness to be fully present and aware. Granted, this is a skill, and takes practice, since most of us weren’t taught by example as children. Still, it is completely possible to learn at any age, with willingness and dedication, as would any new skill. Being fully present and aware also requires you to fully feel emotion as it occurs, and to take full responsibility for your actions. Two more things people aren’t accustomed to.
Many people have seen far enough past the boundaries of the ego that they run toward the Light. This has created an interesting phenomenon called spiritual bypassing. Basically, these folks try to go straight from initial awareness (just waking up) to enlightenment, without wading through the muck of the ego on the way. Please don’t do this. It’s a waste of your time, and it’s really annoying to those actually doing the work. More importantly, it always backfires. You can develop a “spiritual ego”, which only adds to the ego work when it all comes crashing down like a house of cards.
How do you know if you’re really doing ego work? It’s messy. It’s terrifying, it’s humbling, and it isn’t any fun. As you get better at it, the processing gets faster, but it still sucks. So why would anyone want to do it? Well, the more ego stuff you remove, the more room you make for the Light to fill. This allows your frequency to raise, your body to heal, and Love to occupy every cell. Ultimately, this results in your Higher Self being able to descend into your body. True Divine Union.
The first step is always awareness. I’m not saying you can never take a night off again, I’m simply saying be aware and be honest with yourself. “I’m feeling overwhelmed, and consciously choose to have a glass of wine and watch a movie” is totally different than just always having wine with dinner to “wind down”. Numbing out (by any means) is something we all do, but you may be surprised how often you do it, once you really observe yourself. Stop justifying, stop denying, and really own your every action. It’s empowering… after the initial shock. Once you own it, you can change it.
Once you have glimpsed into the hold your ego has, it’s time to get to work. Everyone is different and will be best served by a different path, just be sure the one you choose really works with the ego, instead of bypassing it. There are many options, from psychotherapy to support groups, and tons of valuable books on the subject. Just pick a path, and get to work… on yourself.
You have one job.