Story, Value, and Becoming More Real
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In the Middle of an Awakening

April 14, 2021

David Bunker


Real awakenings are not cinematic

It takes more than a few emotional songs

Or a brooding reflective look of understanding by the protagonist

To foster what anyone would remotely call a divine summoning


When heaven mandates a wakeup call

There are no shortcuts to the next scene

The one in which we are miraculously blissed out and content



Real awakenings are usually ushered in through suffering

Embedded within the dark night of the soul

A traumatic event that feels like a knife

Slicing through our diversionary tactics

Accompanied by unsettling mood swings and sleeplessness

Untimely and unwelcomed tears

Profound disbelief in grace

And a litany of seemingly unanswerable questions

That leave us wondering

Can we even know what we believe or feel?


Real awakenings are costly as there is an uncovering

That brings us face to face with our genuine longings

Longings we had forgotten

Abandoned, or were clueless they even existed

Now rise up from the ashes of a life-threatening illness

Or a painful and messy divorce

An unexpected loss of a long-held job

Or the premature passing of a cherished loved one

These longings have now taken up residence within our soul


Awakenings cause us to be broken open

Seeing and feeling the brokenness

And being pieced back together at the same time

As if we are caught between two persons

One we desire to be and the one we are in the moment


And then, in the messy middle of the awakening

Something happens

A flash of deep encounter with self-knowing appears

That shifts the entire world on its axis

Releasing a rush of love to the heart

As we grab our chest and catch our breath

Someone unexpected tells us….”we matter”

And for the first time we hear them

As the old wound is now less a wound

As our soul informs us that something within is liberated

Something has surrendered

And there is a softening where once there was a hard place

And what we only imagined in our prayers of pleading

Is now manifest in the awakening

For now, there is no going back to proverbial sleep

As the adventure awaits our presence as though predestined

While restlessly anticipating the risk of our longings


The featured image is courtesy of Julie Jablonski and used with her generous permission for Cultivating and The Cultivating Project.


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  1. Emily says:

    It’s such a gift when someone puts words to experiences. You have told the story of the last 3 months of my life here and I’m so grateful. I just need to step into those last few lines ☺️.

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