Awakening is messy. You don't transcend into some paradisiacal, elitist inner garden— It doesn't perfect you. You first come into all the reasons you've so wanted to stay asleep. And there are many good reasons. To awaken, really, is to begin to feel. Awakening is bit by bit coming out of denial around all the reasons you've needed to wield that terrible tool of othering— because so much is unbearable inside of our own self.

Awakening doesn't come from spiritual mastery defined as overcoming enough of our shortcomings. It is found in doing our fumbling best to grow into arms strong and loving enough to hold and hug our aching humanity. The myth that awakening looks anything like spiritual perfectionism is perhaps the best sleeping pill. Awakening is the at times compass-less and often inglorious inner odyssey toward the rough ruby of all that is bruised and true in our hearts. Awakening isn't only for special people. We're all on our way toward coming out of the sleep cycle.
~ Chelan Harkin in WILD GRACE