These days we inundated with social media messages around becoming a better version of you. Diets, exercise, healing programs offered online for a fee. Catchy quotes that are meant to inspire you to do the emotional work and focus on yourself. Then we see that people who believe in these things share what they find to strike an emotional response or connection for them whether that be because they practice it or they aspire to be "better". The word that often is associated with this is "enlightenment". So many people I know are seeking "enlightenment" or they say "I am becoming enlightened" and somehow by saying or actively seeking "enlightenment" they are on a level above others.
Enlightenment is fascinating really.
To enlighten is to give/gain knowledge. Simple. What knowledge are we seeking? Are we seeking what we need to know to be the best version of us or are we seeking any and all information we can find that makes us feel like we are making an effort? There are two very different results based on what you seek. One will enlighten you and the other will weigh you down. As in the first step of creating an EPIC life - Evaluate, we seek knowledge about our history, our values, our culture, what BUILT us! As referred to above "passage through hell", this process is scary so many people avoid it, some successfully and others not. Our histories are unique to each of us. Even your siblings have a very different experience of childhood in the same home than you do. It's personal, it's what we hold and once we understand it and the positive and negative effects it has had on us we can let go off that we don't want anymore and celebrate that which we cherish. This enlightens us, it quiets the nattering victim voices in our heads and gives us freedom from the past. Enlightenment is not just seeking information to store and feel knowledgeable, it is seeking information and using it to create what you want for yourself. It is quieting the useless things in our lives and focussing on that which brings us peace. Once we do the work we actually feel lighter. We walk lighter, we talk softer, we are more gentle and patient. We have less anger and worry.
I remember the first time I was given Reiki healing. It was a one hour session. I was comfortable, paying attention to my breathing and the sensations I felt throughout he practitioners hands. When we were finished she asked me what I felt and I said " I left my body, I felt like I was floating above the heaviness of my physical body and my spirit was free and almost weightless." What an amazing sensation and I continue to experience it daily in my self Reiki practice.
Reiki is helping me in my journey to enlightenment. Don't let all the sources of information convince you to trust in them for your healing. Find your way to understanding yourself and creating your life. Only hold what you need to be at peace with your path, listen to your intuition in each moment and follow. That will bring you to your most enlightened place.
And lastly, enlightenment is NOT about being on a level above others. We are all and we will remain individuals, important, unique and worth living our best lives free from judgement.