Do you consider yourself spiritual? What does being spiritual mean to you, and how does that affect how you live? Unless you’re new here (if you are, welcome!), you know that spirituality is very important to me, and I try to bring a high level of consciousness to how I live. Recently, I got on to thinking about what being spiritual means, and how that may be misunderstood sometimes.
We shouldn’t want money
I bet you know someone who believes that being spiritual means giving up all things worldly and that it’s unspiritual to have material desires. However, that isn’t true. Those who’re vested in spiritual awakening know that true happiness comes from within, not from amassing stuff. This recognition may reduce their appetite for seeking gratification from the material world. Yet, there is no crime in living a comfortable life. Enjoying life is part of why our souls took on physical bodies to experience what isn’t possible in the spirit world.
Moreover, the human experience also comes with a very practical side to which all of us must attend, i.e., shelter, food and clothing at the very minimum. Money, like everything, is energy. Paying bills for goods and services rendered is one form of energy exchange. It can be done with the highest consciousness. I like the advice by Rhonda Byrne in The Magic, to bless our bills and to express gratitude for the money we have to pay for what we need and want. Money is anything but evil; only our judgment makes it so.
We don’t need to plan or take action
It’s easy to misinterpret what surrendering and listening for Divine Guidance means and to take it too far to mean no action needs to be taken. I learned this lesson the hard way myself. Yes, surrender the need for controlling events and people, because control emanates from fear. Besides, there’s precious little in life we can truly control anyway. And, yes also to seeking guidance from the highest part of ourselves that’s connected to cosmic wisdom. Depending on your specific orientation, you may know this wisdom as God or simply your inner wisdom.
Ultimately, it isn’t a random coincidence we each have a powerful mind. It’s for the purpose of taking the higher guidance we receive and turning it into meaningful action. The key is not to let the mind drive but to leverage its power to carry out what’s for the highest good of all involved—ourselves and those we were born to serve. I see it as collaboration with God, a process of constant checking in, listening, turning guidance into plans and action, asking, listening some more, and course-correcting, if necessary.
We don’t need to learn or grow
Self-acceptance is a key lesson in spiritual awakening. We’re told we’re whole, perfect and complete, and we needn’t change a thing to be loved, because we’re inherently lovable. Also, unless we can come to unconditional acceptance of ourselves, we can’t truly accept others either. Instead, all we can see are their flaws and shortcomings.
I don’t know many people who have actually come to complete self-acceptance. Personally, I’ve come a long way in this department, but am still very aware of insecurities and ways in which feelings of not good enough can easily be resurrected. I recognize that these struggles with being human are all part of the growth and evolution my soul came into this life to experience. As a further personal note, I also know that it’s my job to be willing to share these lessons as I learn them on my own journey of spiritual evolution.
Accepting ourselves doesn’t mean we stagnate and don’t learn or grow. It just means we truly understand that the lessons and growth don’t come from trying to improve ourselves in order to be deserving. Rather, the learning and growing stems from the struggles with humanness we experience such that our spirit can evolve.
We’re never wrong
If we’re fully living from our highest self and connected to cosmic wisdom, we’d never get anything wrong, right? Not. Right vs. wrong is a human judgment. Above human consciousness and interpretation, things just are. Good vs. bad, favorable vs. unfavorable in any way are all makings of our human mind, not our higher self. I’ve learned that, as long as I can remember that everything I experience is for the benefit of my spiritual evolution, it isn’t detrimental that I’m wrong in the human sense, even as ego is right there to cloud my consciousness with gripping shame and guilt. Related to the above point about learning and growing, not worrying about being wrong is all part of spiritual growth.
We’re never afraid
This, for me, was probably the biggest of the biggies for quite some time. Who wants to face fear? Not me! More than five years ago, when I began my quest to awaken spiritually, I was naïve enough to believe that once I “got there,” I’d never feel afraid again. I believed I’d be so evolved and so super-charged with faith that fear would cease to exist. Boy, talk about being wrong!
Over time, I’ve written about honoring our emotions, including the profound experience I had last year from listening to difficult emotions and embracing vulnerability earlier this year. Fear is nothing more than a messenger to tell us we’re about to break through in a major way—and sometimes to tell us that we are indeed in danger and need to seek safer grounds. Courage is on the other side of the same coin as fear. Fear is a reminder that, on our spiritual journey in human form, we have a choice to flip the coin to the other side.
Being spiritual doesn’t mean that unwanted emotions will never be felt again or that we can avoid them altogether. Rather, by deepening our consciousness, we cultivate our readiness to recognize the purpose served by feeling afraid—and other difficult emotions.
We are all spiritual beings having a human experience. While recognizing that we are more than our bodies, being spiritual doesn’t require us to reject being human. On the contrary, it’s about cultivating the perspective to honor the human experience just as it is without judgment.
Now, over to you: What does being spiritual mean to you? What may be some of the things you thought being spiritual meant but have since developed a different understanding? Would you kindly share your insights?
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