In this second installment, we will continue to discuss some of the most common reasons people fear enlightenment, as well as the antidote to these inaccurate belief systems.

Reason #2. My spouse/partner isn’t enlightened enough, and I will leave them behind.

It is true that sometimes in marriage one partner is more actively engaged in spiritual pursuits than the other partner, and sometimes this can create friction or feelings of disconnection. It is also true that unique life events like a near death experience, loss of a job, or death of a loved one can be a catalyst for unexpected spiritual awakenings that do indeed disrupt the equilibrium in close relationships.

And, while these things are true, it is a mistake to think that your own spiritual progress can have anything but a positive effect on your spouse and on your relationship. If you are truly raising your vibration, then as you gather strength, you will automatically begin to raise the vibration of those with whom you are in close contact, including and especially your spouse.

Because our karma and our wounds are intertwined with those of our partner, when we heal our self, we heal them, as well. Does this mean that the process of growing is always easy and pleasant? Not always, but it certainly can be if we are open to such a possibility.

And yes, there is some chance that during a particularly delicate point in the process, you may need some space from your spouse and everyone else to sort through some things – maybe you need to go on a retreat or otherwise take some time alone to integrate your healing and new awakenings. Afterwards, you can gently offer your partner a hand up, as you continue together up the upward spiral of ongoing growth and the journey deeper into love.

Reason #3. I won’t be able to enjoy McDonalds French Fries, getting drinks with friends, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, or sex anymore.

Well, this belief system might be mostly true, except for the part about sex, which you will certainly enjoy on your path of enlightenment when it is an expression of your Highest Good.

In spite of the fact that there are Tibetan Buddhists who play with alcohol in order to supposedly train their minds, generally speaking alcohol is a low vibration substance that keeps us tethered to a lower level of consciousness than we could otherwise achieve if we were to remove alcohol from our life entirely and permanently. Furthermore, once we leave alcohol behind, there is, in fact, a very good chance we will spend quite a bit less time with our drinking friends. At some point down the road, we may eventually see that a great deal of our connection with many of them was our shared bond with alcohol and the types of sometimes fun yet always lower vibration experiences than they could have been that alcohol supports. (The same, of course, is true for other types of drug buddies, as well).

Whether it’s French Fries, ice cream or alcohol, these are all examples of the fact that as we become more enlightened, our craving center will have less sway in our decisions and we will be released from various food and substance addictions. This is good news, even if in the past we have derived pleasure or comfort from engaging in addictive behaviors. Pleasure and comfort can be positive things, but better to experience the much higher quality versions of these that come from following our Highest Self rather than the short-lived, shallow fix that comes from following addictions and an unhealthy craving center.

Most often these addictions are expressions of and a means to cover up wounds that stand between us and the bliss of enlightenment, which means there is only so far we can go on our path while staying in our addictions. We can’t be fully healed unless we are fully healed. We can’t be fully in our power, as long as we are giving our power away to our wounded craving center and coping mechanisms.

I never said the path to Enlightenment was easy, but I will say 1,000 times that the rewards far outweigh the perceived costs, which are in fact illusory, only perceived. And, although life is certainly better on the other side of any addiction, it is true that from a place of addiction it can be difficult to imagine or believe in this better life, and furthermore, from a practical standpoint, we may not know how to heal the emotional, energetic, chemical and mental imbalances involved.

When in doubt, start with compassion for your self. The other steps will naturally follow.

Check in next week for part three, as we address two more common reasons people reject Enlightenment:

Reason #4. I will spend all my time in some meditative state and/or in non-dual awareness, and I really am not interested in that type of existence.

Reason #5. We can’t be fully enlightened in physical form; it’s not possible anyway.