When awakening we experience a full range of emotions: joy, bliss, anger, grief and confusion to name a few. This tide of emotions is like how we might feel looking in the mirror and realizing we never went to the dentist until our mid-thirties. Suddenly there is a revealing of years of covered up decay. Now there is work to be done to reset a course towards healthy teeth. Similarly, in our awakening process, sudden realizations may reveal to us that we need to change course in order to achieve mind, body and spiritual wellness.

For example, part of this work may be understanding what is happening to us. Then we have to face the shame of recognizing our messed up teeth are showing on the outside and the inside. From there this shame might turn into self-blame and then into self-deprecating voices. This is where we get phrases like peeling the onion or stories about Pandora’s box or metaphors about spirals, because following this path leads to deeper and deeper layers.

Fixing our Own Teeth

We are not dentists, but we recognize the need to be well. With spiritual awakening our teeth are all of the things that we have built up inside. All the things we have ignored. All the “hidden” trauma and our own contribution to our pain and suffering.

When we finally begin to move forward and go to the dentist, it can be quite the experience. Sometimes we seek wellness outside of ourselves in the form of a specialist. But whether it be a dentist, a yogi, therapist, masseuse, or other spiritual leader the greatest contribution they can make to our wellness is handing us a mirror again and again to reflect back to us the current state of our “teeth.”

If we have never brushed our teeth before, starting a new routine can be pretty daunting. It is the habit and commitment to being well, the day-to-day brushing, flossing, eating well and self-care that is the key to the path of wellness.

By committing to learning new tools and routines, our inner light becomes brighter inside and out. We start to see the contrast. Our imperfections are part of the character that others love about us. We come to see we were perfect all along.

We Are Becoming

Naturally we want to share this blissful, painful, thrilling “new” us and others are attracted to our light. We meet people that feel like home and spend time in communities that our dreams help build. Although helping others can lead us to learn about ourselves, leaning in to focus solely on other’s pain and suffering can distract us from looking in our own mirrors and seeing ourselves.

On this new path we learn there is only so much time and energy we can spend trying to get other people to take care of their own teeth and go to the dentist. We learn the discernment we did not learn growing up. We learn to listen to our intuition, and to check in with ourselves on how much energy we have and to prioritize this energy. We find new ways of generating energy. We come to know ourselves.

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