When we embarke on the spiritual path, it comes from an inner surge, the arising of a need to grow and evolve and to experience the Truth of who we are. It can happen as a result of tremendous trauma or difficulty or we may finally come to the realisation that our automatic ways of being are no longer working in our lives, but are actually becoming a hindrance to getting what we say we want. In a sense, we are driven by something to something "else". What that something is, we do not know, but it is driving us nonetheless. Consider that it is our Soul, Higher Self, the unseen, energetic spirit consciousness that is part of all of Life (whatever you want to call it).
It is our higher self's desire to experience that which helps us become aware that separation is an illusion and through this awareness, to release this illusion. This is the transformational process of the spiritual path: releasing that which keeps us separate, or said another way, releasing that which interferes with who we really are.
Who are we then really? What is Real? What is Truth? What is Self? The moment we can answer these questions, we know there is only one answer: I AM .
The moment this realisation is experienced, all sense of separation disappears and we have merged with the One (consciousness). We have attained enlightenment, Nirvana, God consciousness, sainthood or whatever you want to call it. We will know whatever there is to know in this reality and beyond!
So then, what is the spiritual path and what can we expect?
The spiritual path is the inner longing for Truth, an inner longing to no longer feel separate from all of life and to merge with the One (state). We move from a state of ignorance to a state of wisdom compassion to a state of knowing.
The spiritual path is a continuous journey of uncovering the truth about who we really are. Through spiritual practices, such as meditation, contemplation and self reflection, we become more aware and learn more about ourselves and the way we have been sabotaging our life (there is also inner child work, spiritual psychology and many other forms which can help us become more aware). When diving deeper into ourselves, we discover which experiences have caused an energetic wounding during our developmental years, which created separation from ourselves. When that separation happened, we began to see the world through the disformed lenses of our parents, siblings and peers. Limiting beliefs started to form in our subconscious mind. This separation forced us to protect ourselves from "them" and we started to create a new "self" (the personality) that would help us survive and ultimately do well in the world. This is the self you know yourself to be today.
What is this energetic wounding? When we are born, we come into this world with an genetic blueprint. It is based on our particular energy with which we enter this world. This blueprint makes us susceptible to certain behaviours and perceptions. When we come into this world, we are open and still connected to the Unified Field around us. We live in innocence and bliss (although there are different degrees of this innocence and bliss depending on what we are karmically bringing with us into this world).
When we come in contact with those around us of a different vibration, our innocence gets violated by other vibrations, we get "wounded" and we experience that as pain. Our primary caregivers may be mean, they may physically or emotionally hurt us, they may (emotionally) abandon us, they may criticize us, they may put us down or ridicule us, they may ignore us etc. etc. All of these conscious or unconscious acts leave a vibrational imprint on our energetic being.
As we do not yet have the intellectual or emotional maturity to process this pain, we start to believe that it is about us. We may start to believe that "I am not good enough, I am a bad little girl, I am alone, I am not worthy (of love), I am weak, I am not perfect etc. etc." From this belief, we then start to see our reality and from this reality we start to develop our personality (the new self) in order to survive : "I must be strong, I must be perfect, I must be accepted, I must please others, I must stand out, etc. etc." This is so that we don't have to be reminded of our imperfect version of ourselves and so that no one else ever gets to see it. This is what we call the Ego: the state of separation that makes us "better than" or "less than" others.
(Also see my earlier blog post on childhood wounding).
This is our work on the spiritual path: we must discover what our spiritual wounding is, how we see the world (our reality) and how it influences the choices we make that affect us today in our daily lives.
Is it helpful to dig deep into our past? Yes and no.
It is not helpful to become the victim of our past and allow the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness to take hold of us. It is not helpful to blame those who have hurt us and allow anger and resentment to fill our hearts. What IS helpful, however, is to know where the pain originated so we can finally understand, have compassion and ultimately forgive.
The more we get to know ourselves and the more we become aware of who we are and what runs us and creates our reality in the present moment, the more we are able to make different choices in the present moment: choices that are healthy and respectful, choices made out of understanding, love and compassion, that build, encourage and nurture (ourselves and others). In other words live and choose from the heart.
When we start to heal the wounded child that feels separate and not good enough or abandoned or criticized (or whatever our particular sentencing is), emotions of anger, fear, hopelessness, impossibilities will dissipate and make room for higher emotions, such as love, compassion, forgiveness, gratitude and joy. We will start to have more peace in our head and in our heart and as a result our life begins to become less difficult to manage. There no longer is that state of separation and comparison that drives our every move, but there is a sense of wholeness and connection which gives us a sense of belonging and being part of a bigger plan.
This is a healthy ego!
Eckhart Tolle speaks of a stillness that happens within us. This stillness is the pathway to our True Self and ultimately to God (the One Consciousness).
The spiritual path is not easy, but those who persevere will be rewarded. No Doubt!
 for more enlightened conversation and understanding on I AM, read "I AM THAT" by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj