I started this blog, “The Experience I’m Having,” to share my awakening experience as I am having it. I never really started at the beginning though. You don’t know who I was before I started writing this blog, so the contrast between who I was and who I am does not show up.
I’ve wanted to talk about this, but I wasn’t sure why. I’ve let it go until, apparently, now.
When I started this blog, I was experiencing awakening. Let me go back in time and set the stage, and then I will try to tell you what happened to me. I don’t actually know what happened, but I’ll tell you what I can remember and some thoughts I have about it.
I could start with being in the womb, where I sensed that my mother did not want me to be born into the hell she was living, but that’s too far back. I could tell you about the bones in my neck that are degenerating from a traumatic head injury, a gift from my father when I was two years old. Still too far back.
Fleeing from that father with my mother and siblings in the middle of the night? Belt-whippings from my next father? Fist fights in elementary school? Stealing? Lying? Cheating? Killing? Where should I begin?
Probably the killing now that I’ve mentioned it. I didn’t kill people. I worked on a horse ranch, and the owner didn’t pay his vet bills, so when a horse needed to be put down, it was done with a rifle. While I worked there, it was done by me. I wasn’t insensitive to what I was doing, but, at the time, I was struggling with being a man, and I repressed all of the emotion surrounding those killings.
I’d had enough conditioning to have issues before I started working at that ranch. After the ranch, I had a full-blown case of PTSD that I didn’t become aware of for six years.
I quit the ranch job in a rage. For the next five years, I quit job after job in a rage. It was not uncommon for me to be screaming in the face of my boss. I came close to fist fights at work, but they didn’t materialize. Worst of all, I had a dog I rescued, and I took my rage out on her.
She was my best friend, loyal and so very smart, and I beat her. I beat her, and I would laugh about it. She was a seventy-five pound German Shepherd. It was like beating a helpless child. I had become my father.
During that time and for years prior, I was single. In all, I was single for twelve years. I was single by choice, at first. After a few years, I was just awkward. I was lonely, but I was afraid of the heartbreak of relationships.
I had met and fallen in love with a woman when I worked at the ranch, but the timing was not right, and nothing had materialized. Six years later, we moved in together.
I began picking at my new “love” on day one. I was easily triggered into fits of anger. For example, one night I was rubbing her shoulders, and she pointed to a spot I wasn’t rubbing and told me it hurt there. To me, this was telling me I was doing it wrong, and I let go of her shoulders, stood up and announced, “Advil’s in the fucking cabinet.”
That’s nothing compared to when a fit of anger escalated to a fit of rage. Screaming, stomping, slamming doors, throwing and breaking things, etc. I was never physically abusive to my girlfriend, but I finally took a pair of scissors to my wrist one day, and that began the healing process.
That act sent me to therapy, and that is when I found out I had PTSD. First, we dealt with the horses, and then we dealt with early childhood trauma. We did good work, and I had breakthroughs, and I got to the point where I wasn’t spinning out into a rage, but I was still an angry person. I was still unable to truly love, trust, be still, understand or be compassionate. I was also a jealous guy in the relationship.
I wasn’t a spiritual seeker when I started the relationship, but I had been at times in my life. My girlfriend was an avid seeker, so that brought that world back into my life.
The relationship lasted for over three years. Eventually the bad times overcame the good. How does a couple stay together that long, fighting at least once a week? I don’t know. We tried our very best to heal ourselves. There was something beautiful there, and we both knew it, but we could not get to it together. We fought hard for it.
During the split, two events happened that immediately preceded the experience I have been having, call it awakening. There was a time when I would tell the story and put great emphasis on these two events, as if they were what made the awakening happen. Now, I tell a longer story, and maybe an even longer one will be told someday, because I think the truth of what led to my awakening is my whole life and not just two events. Nevertheless, the two events were, perhaps, the straws that broke the camel’s back.
During an argument, I consciously spoke what I had been repressing. I had screamed some of these things in a rage before, but I had never consciously unburdened myself.
“I don’t like you. I don’t trust you. You are a liar.” I listed off grievance after grievance. I was saying things to my ex that I hadn’t said to parents, teachers, friends, previous lovers, etc. In other words, I had taken the cork off the bottle, and 45 years of upset came out.
To her credit, my ex understood what was happening and calmly sat asking, “What else?”
When I finished, there was a space in me, and it was filled with love. I knew that, although what I had said had been true, it was no longer true, no longer the way I felt. I felt nothing but love, and I said so.
It was clear that my ex and I were broken people, both in terrible pain.
“It would take a miracle for this to be healed,” I said.
“Yes,” she agreed.
“I’m going to pray for one.”
And so I prayed aloud for a miracle. I was not asking that we be healed, so that we could get back together and live happily ever after. I was simply asking that we be healed, so that we could each feel good, free of pain and hurt and grievance.
In that moment, a sensation swept through my body that nearly caused me to pass out. It started in my chest and went to my legs, feet, arms and hands, and then it crawled up my neck, slightly choking me, and into my head. It was not a feeling I had experienced before. I was unable to consider it, to even think about it, it was so strong.
I don’t remember what happened after that. I don’t know if I took a nap and woke to feeling awake, or if I slept overnight and then woke to feeling awake. I know that when I next woke from sleep, I was truly Awake. The source in me of pain or fear, was gone. My body felt light, almost weightless. My sense of Ken Fales centered around the heart and not the brain, as it previously had. Suddenly, immediately, and without any discomfort, everything made a kind of sense. I understood clearly all of the teachings I had heard from enlightened masters via my ex.
It wasn’t that I intellectually understood them. I was experiencing Truth, and so teachings of Truth made total sense to me. No more mystery. No more seeking. No more duality. Blam!
The story of Ken Fales prior to awakening is not important. It’s not even ultimately true. The reason I briefly share it is, first, I am moved to, and second, because I am not someone who ardently sought awakening, and it may give some hope to someone who feels they are far too angry to ever awaken. Anger is a fine road to awakening.
My awakening was about two months ago. It has and has not been smooth sailing ever since. The road to awakening is one that seems not to end. It does, and it doesn’t, and I will talk more about that in the next post, part two of What Happened To Me.
Thanks for reading!