Ilona, just to say again, I am very grateful for your help with this. It will be wonderful to look at my caregiving situation and the outcome of my beautiful partner's illness through clearer seeing. There already seems to be more much-needed energy available.
Can you go back to the beginning of our conversation and look at the expectations that you had, then compare it to what has been seen and make a rant about it.
I find that it's the expectations that are in the way of seeing, so from your fresh eyes you have the best view. What was expected and how THIS is different.
While I was looking back at this I read again what you were saying about "awakening" being the beginning of integration and deprogramming of the mind. This is so important in terms of expectations because for so long many, including myself have had an expectation that once awakening occurred that you were 100% complete with this. Or not. No changes left to occur. And yet I can remember reading the last book of Nisargadatta, who during his extremely painful cancer illness was undergoing changes in consciousness. And that after many years of some of the most profound teaching ever on this subject. Now there are more and more teachers talking about this integration, this apparent process or unfolding so expectations don't have to be so rigid.
One of the personal expectations here was that there would be a break-through clear, unambiguous and out-of-this-world experience of "no me." That did not happen as some kind of separate woo-woo experience. And yet the seeing/knowing that there is no controller happens inevitably when other misconceptions are cleared away by the unique direct pointing that occurs on this site.
Another expectation was that if laughing didn't occur, awakening hadn't happen. And actually laughing did occur. But I think a "wry smile" would probably be sufficient as an expectation. :)
Another litmus test was that after awakening one should be able to open their mouth and profound words of wisdom would flow and you were ready to join the circuit. I know there are many who awaken who never teach and never talk about it. And yet one's presence alone no doubt has it's own effect. Or not.
There is also an expectation that there will be more other-worldy experiences occurring as a result of awakening. And maybe a disappointment initially that life is so ordinary. No archangels sitting on your doorstep to greet you when you get back from grocery shopping. And yet, the gifts of the ordinary begin to reveal themselves.
And last but not least, there are certainly expectations about the mind stream, that it will at least slow down to a trickle and won't come back except for practical purposes. There have been experiences here where that happened for months at a time. And when the mind stream does inevitably come back in there was the doubt ("I" arising) that said "I wasn't there yet." The doubt was not seen as an appearance just like any other experience. It was taken literally and then the "I" was back up and running again. But even the "I back up and running again" can be seen as an appearance. This is critical to see in terms of expectations. The mind stream appears to be going pretty strong here but there is such a clear understanding (thank you Ilona very much) that anything can arise as THIS. So even doubt arising will be seen as THIS. Even being "lost in thought" can be seen as THIS.
That's about it girlfriend. Back to life arising, eh?