Awakening to our higher self is about realising that a lot of what we believe about ourselves is not really us, but that the real us is something beyond that and directing our lives.
We then understand that a lot of the pursuits we have indulged in are not important in the larger scheme of things, but a distraction to stop us from facing ourselves, where we have been busy running around in circles thinking we know what is going on, and ever so willing to enlighten others as to where they are going wrong.
Of course, we have been understanding more of ourselves through this flurry of activity, but often we just wear ourselves out, and go to sleep to avoid the truth. However, awakening does highlight what it is really important for us to do, so the busyness may not stop, but just be more properly directed, improving as we are willing to understand more about ourselves and dispense with our self-delusions. We become driven, but ever more realistic about our own capacity, so we can see when we need to back off and meditate/contemplate/recharge in order to maintain balance.
We also can understand more about why people are where they are at, and why they are on the path they are, being their path to their own awakening, directed by their own higher self. Be forgiving, be tolerant, and let go of thinking that our path should be their path. Some of what we do may be helpful, but it must always be by their free will whether to use it or not. We may come across people who teach us about how to navigate our own path, and their help should be appreciated. However, it is us who must always be responsible for our own choices. No one can live our life for us, nor own us.
In all this, we must still honour obligations and commitments we have undertaken, though some may be renegotiated. Some may even test our resolve to change, or seem to be making difficulties for us to become the new us. That is just helping us to take things at the right pace, so that we really understand the path we are undertaking, rather than getting ahead of ourselves. That is karma, and is the unfolding of the lesson in our consciousness, so that our freedom is truly won, rather than just another self-delusion.
The nature of spiritual development is that our souls aren't just creating our personalities and sitting back observing what they do, but are actively taking part in their evolution by engineering the karmic circumstances to which they respond, including cooperating with other souls for mutual personality development. Those other souls' personalities have been our ersatz mentors, guiding our development, even though they probably had no idea of their true part in our development.
In that way, our souls have been our silent master mentors, the players on our personalities' chessboards. Awakening is when we realise that this is the reality of our lives, and that we are serving our soul's development towards being a master creator. Awakening is just a part of the real spiritual journey, as getting realisations and epiphanies is one thing, but learning to cooperate with our soul, and by our free will, allowing it work through us, is a whole other dimension to get one's head around.
In all this focus upon awakening, our personalities cannot actually spend much time being in contact with our higher selves, despite promises of enlightenment, as that would draw us away from what we can learn on earth. There is a reason to be incarnating, and it is not to be focusing on not being here. However, we can use some inner guidance to keep us on track, so we do need help with not being too caught up in the glamours of earthly experience, and that includes performative religiosity. We have to be real humanitarians first, otherwise we cannot possibly help ourselves or humanity.