Like many of you, I’ve gone down a path of spiritual and personal growth. I still walk it today. It is probably the most revealing, life empowering journey you’ll ever take. That path started for me when I came to a crossroads in my personal life and career that left me with more questions than answers, the journey of self-awareness and exploring my spirituality was started.
I got involved in yoga, meditation, and writing all of which helped me to cultivate a deeper sense of self-awareness. I read a ton of books on the subject and exposed myself to new ideas and expanded realms of thought. I welcomed in a new framework of how the world works and how my existence contributed to it. I learned about this thing called fear and how it can sneakily attached itself to our own sense of identity. I also learned about love and light and what it means to aspire to live by this daily. I also learned about peace and what true happiness feels like; I mean down to the core happiness that comes from within and not from any large sum of money. When it comes to confidence, security, passion, joy, abundance, endurance, enthusiasm; they are very much available to you in the present moment and they all come from you. Very similarly, fear, insecurity, doubt, lethargy, victimization, guilt, worry, disappointment, regret are also very available to you in the present moment. Unfortunately for most of us, our tendency by default is to fall victim to the latter feelings so much so that they cloud our ability to see the situation and ourselves clearly.
As soul warriors, we value every opportunity to learn more about ourselves and the world around us. We find deeper meaning from the relationships we have with others and with ourselves. It’s very nourishing to be in tune beyond the surface level and challenge ourselves to go beyond placing judgment on whatever life throws at us.
One of the biggest challenges we face while on the path of spiritual enlightenment is that we forget that we are human dealing with real situations and have real emotions that are not always going to be happy and joyous. We do get moody sometimes when the weather won’t cooperate. We get frustrated when a co-worker is always negative and our positivity won’t influence her. We get disappointed when we experience a setback of some kind or find ourselves wanting more than what we have. Then we feel bad about ourselves for those “bad” feelings because then we feel like we’ve fallen off the spiritual wagon. I hear it so many times “I’ve done so much work on myself, I should know better!” We can be pretty hard on ourselves.
Being on the spiritual growth path does not mean that one day you will be absolved from all negative emotions. My personal definition of a living a spiritual life simply means that we are here to experience life in a way that shows us who we really are. What that looks like is allowing yourself to go through the emotions that come up for you, without judgment but with absolute compassion. We are spiritual beings living in a physical body and despite constantly working on ourselves, we will have our bad days. These bad days are meant to help further us on our journey, develop our spiritual muscle and to remind us to always be self-loving and compassionate towards ourselves. Having bad days and getting upset doesn’t make us any less spiritual. We are spiritual beings by our very nature; so it’s hard to not be something you already are.
When we find ourselves on the journey of personal and spiritual growth, remember these 5 things:
1. Be patient with yourself; the journey of personal growth is lifelong. Allow yourself to be human and experience the discomfort of setbacks; there is a lesson in it for you.
2. Practice self-love (especially during the uncomfortable times); meet every feeling of fear, doubt, and sadness with love, gentleness, and compassion. You are allowed to have the feelings you have; otherwise you wouldn’t be having them. Be willing to love yourself despite the heaviness you feel.
3. Allow your emotions to serve you, until they no longer do; maybe it makes sense for you to feel vulnerable and disappointed in the moment. These types of feelings can serve as your guide and give you direction into what to do next. Allow those feelings to be present until you decide that they no longer serve you and release them when you are ready.
4. Be curious of your feelings, not judgmental; in order to fully learn and experience who we truly are, we must be willing to go to the root of our feelings. Through curiosity and understanding we learn to check our judgments at the door and reveal the layers that makeup our sense of self.
5. Use every feeling of discomfort as a lesson; each feeling we have shows us an aspect of ourselves we believe to be true. In order to see your own truth you must be willing to let your emotions teach you. They are telling signs and communicators of who you are and allows you to decide if that’s who you want to be.
Doing the work on yourself never stops and gets even more challenging the further you go. Part of this process brings with it a truly profound recognition of self that is always unraveling. This is especially true through the good times and not so good times; embrace it all.
In what ways have you experienced some setbacks on your journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth? How do you respond when the path gets rough? Share in the comments!
With Love & Light,