How do I know I am awake?

What is it to be “awake?”  What does it actually feel like?  I’ve heard it referred to as if your heart is opening, your eyes have opened, or you become whole, but shouldn’t I be able to know that this has happened to me?  I mean, how do I really know for sure if I am awake?  I find myself full of questions, trying to figure it all out.

Do I have to have an out-of-body experience to be “awake?”  Do I really have to have a physical experience at all?  Does someone or something have to shake me awake?  Or is it as simple as just becoming aware?  Is it because I find myself looking at my life and asking, “is this it?”  “Is this all that life is about?”  Because all of sudden I see people and things differently?  Because I start to realize that I am causing my own problems and that I, in fact, have the ability to change everything?  That I have choice and either I exercise it or I don’t?  Am I awake because I can feel myself wanting more, to understand more, to see more?  And isn’t it accompanied by a resounding faith that I will get it?

Am I awake because I don’t get bothered by the same things anymore?  I have more compassion for other beings, more understanding of what seems to be the meaning of life?  Is it because I don’t subscribe to what other people want me to believe, that I start to think and choose for myself?  Is it because I start to listen to myself?  And I can actually hear myself responding from the heart?  Like I can hear and feel an inner knowing of what is true, and what is right for me?  And I start to believe what my heart tells me, no matter how much it goes against the “way” as dictated by society, my community or my family?  Not like anarchy, but an understanding and ability to let it be?  It’s not fighting against.  It’s not following along.  It’s just feeling the flow of your life and going with it?

Is it because I start to trust myself instead of thinking I am so screwed up and wrong that I need antidepressants or antianxiety drugs, or illegal drugs, or alcohol or nicotine to cope?  That I realize that I am not crazy and in fact there is nothing wrong with me at all?  That technically there is no “right” or “wrong?”  That even though I now feel like a big convoluted mess, I also feel like a perfect being at the same time?  Is it because I realize that once my focus turned inward on myself, I didn’t let the actions of others or the chaos of life run my own life?  That now I can keep the chaos of the world from taking over my thoughts?  That the chaos of the world has its own meaning and purpose and journey?

Am I awake because now I see so clearly and everything makes sense, and at the same time nothing makes sense?  That all this time I thought I was me, but now all of a sudden I feel like I am getting introduced to me for the first time?  Yet I recognize myself?  I recognize my essence, my spirit, dare I say soul?  Am I awake because I realize that all the experiences and traumas I have been through were actually lessons?  That all the experiences happened for a specific reason, and now I can see that the reason was to bring me to exactly this point I am at today?  Am I awake because I can sincerely forgive myself and others?  And finally let it all go?  Or is it because I stopped concerning myself with everyone else’s life and realized that everyone has their own journey and it was time I deserve to live mine?

Is awakening when I feel I can actually start to be myself, because I love myself, all of myself?  That I am no longer concerned with whether I am perceived as bad or good, because deep down inside I know that I am good?  And I feel like I never want to let go of this new clear image of myself?  Do I now look at people, right into their eyes, making eye contact, seeing into them?  And it’s not about their car, their clothes or their body, I see inside, I see beyond the facade, beyond the mask into their spirit?  And I have the ability to see myself too and realize that I am not my body, or my clothes or my car?  That I am a spirit?  Do I start to actually get the feeling that all humans are actually connected, that we are all one?

All these questions… beg the question, why is it that I feel I need to know for sure if I am awake?  And who is that higher authority higher than myself that is going to verify for me that I am officially awake?  When it comes down to it, even though I have a million questions in my head, I am still able to be silent and realize I do have all the answers myself.  And the fact I am aware enough to ask these kinds of provocative questions means something in and of itself.  And technically, were these really even questions? Sometimes the answers are right there, in the questions.

2 thoughts on “How do I know I am awake?

  1. Ah, yes! The answers in the questions themselves..I love that way of looking at it. And of seeing the basic goodness of all things. That thought is useful to me right now.
    I really like this post :) It reminded me of one dream I had, where a good friend wrote on the driveway in sidewalk chalk, “You’re Dreaming” and it hit me that I was indeed dreaming; it felt like a secret. It felt so real. So now I’m never quite sure. Perhaps being awake in a dream is also quite lovely, awake in general is a lovely thing I suppose :) So happy that you reminded me of this!

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