Often when we go on a personal development journey we focus so much of our attention on tips and hacks that will make us better, faster, and more productive. From having the best morning routines. To figuring out how to do the life, work balance. We want to run at a thousand miles per hour at all times! We spend our lives chasing that we tend to end up feeling burned out and feeling like something is still missing.
This year has challenged my mind frame as I’m sure it has for many of you as well. It has heightened the necessity to take a step back and introspect. Figure out who we truly are, and what we truly need and want for ourselves.
I think spirituality allows us to do just that. To get to a place where we can truly unlock our full potential, and go beyond hacks.
So what exactly is spirituality?
Spirituality is an awareness or awakening of our true self that goes beyond the confines of our ego. It is a journey to the discovery of the true self. A shift in perception of what is around us. A shed of old belief systems and a reconnection to our truth. Things that in the long run will authentically make you better, produce more, and never run you down to the point of total burnt out.
I began my spiritual journey a couple of years ago but it’s within the last year that I started asking deeper questions about old belief systems and traumas I’ve experienced. In that, I’ve learned so much and it’s helped me view personal development through a whole new lens. Where I don’t need to hack my way through my day. Where I don’t rack my brain over the latest way of doing things and instead focus on things that honor my journey.
The following are 18 lessons I’ve learned in this spiritual journey that have changed my personal development journey and growth and I believe can help you as well.
Our energy is everything
When we think of energy, we often only think of our physical energy. We think of the food we consume and the activities, such as exercise, we do to create energy. However, one of the first things I started to realize is that it’s far more than that! Energy is also mental, emotional, and spiritual. We are energetic beings. As such we can generate energy or tap into it. We also project, absorb it, and transform it. Energy is our source of life and the way we spend it, absorb it, and transmit it to others will dictate the type of life we have.
Everything is connected
Now more than ever with a global pandemic I think at some level we understand that what one person does across the globe can have the power to affect another on the other side of it. Spirituality shows us that the connection to others goes even further to all living things. Through spirituality, we begin to understand the harmonious connection between earth, yourself, and everything you encounter.
Even though our spiritual journeys are so personal they also connect to something bigger than ourselves. We look at nature everything is so intertwined, as are we. You walk into someone’s life or someone walks into yours, it changes you. Realize that your presence on earth is very much needed. If you have ever wondered if you can make a difference or if you matter understand you are a beautiful component to the bigger picture.
It’s like a puzzle. Everyone is a piece so unique and different from each other yet when placed together no one piece could take the place of another. Only by connecting and playing our part in the world can we create change and real impact. We also understand that we must become the best versions of ourselves to ultimately make everything around us better.
Everything has a purpose
When we realize that everything is connected and that everything is part of something bigger you learn to honor the difficult moments you’ve lived. You begin to understand that they were simply a lesson and not a punishment. If approached correctly, it can be a tool, to help others. Through our lessons, we can find our life’s purpose. When we become more aware of our spiritual journey, we begin to have this sense of obligation to make the world a better place. It’s no longer about what happened to us. Instead to seek how we can use what happened as a tool to help others.
We step into a better version of ourselves to fulfill our purpose. When personal development gurus tell us to find our purpose this is a magnificent way to seek it. Through finding where in the bigger picture you fit. How can you make the world a better place? Our desire to succeed becomes less about recognition and material possession; and more about spreading a message, helping, and being part of something bigger.
The quieter we get, the louder our intuition gets.
Spirituality is the discovery of our true selves. A self without boundaries and restrictions of our ego. To do that we must silence the cluttered noise inside and outside our mind. Interestingly, we have approximately 6,000 thoughts per day and 80% of those thoughts are negative. How can we find purpose in a sea of toxic thoughts telling us we can’t? Constantly thinking of what went wrong, and what could go wrong.
Things like meditation help us silence those thoughts. Simultaneously by asking ourselves questions of feedback to what we experience allows us to remain in the present and allows us to highlight what matters. Our intuition is our guide to our true happiness. The more we exercise our ability to use it, the stronger it will become.
Through this journey, we not only understand that everything is connected but also that everything is balance. The sense of mortality begins to heighten within ourselves. We understand that to take you must give. It then becomes clear that karma is nothing but a balance, like a boomerang. Whatever you give you get, and you get whatever you give out.
Facing our shadow self
This has been by far one of the hardest things to address and continue to address in my spiritual journey. Facing that side of us we spend our lives running from. The bad feelings, tendencies we may have that tend to hurt us more than benefit us. It’s the part of the journey that will challenge you the most yet will be the most rewarding.
You see, we all have a story and we’ve all been through our trials in life. It is what we do with those difficult moments that make a difference. When we learn the lessons, we use these to create healthy relationships and help others. When we don’t, we tend to repeat cycles. Things like suppression emotions, pain badging, putting up our walls and having a victim mentality.
From a young age, we are taught that emotions like anger, pain, and sadness are bad. We were winning if we were sad, and brats if we were angry. It doesn’t change much as an adult. Personal development gurus tell us that we choose how we feel. That’s it’s up to us to have a positive life, and that we control our attitudes. It’s sort of emotion shamming. You must be positive or else you are not taking charge. After my depression, I took this to heart! I began suppressing any negative feelings and piling on positive ones. I clung on to positive thinking like a clingy boyfriend.
The more I understood myself and what feelings, are the more I allowed them to be. Feelings are indicators that something must be addressed. The more we suppress them, the longer they stay. We can’t outrun them. However, if we allow ourselves to feel and honor them. Then they become what they are meant to be, passing and telling of what we must look at.
The trials in our life are meant to teach us and go. Many of us though hold on to the idea that our trials are who we are. When we do that we tend to do two things. One, feel like our trials are like medals.
While we should be proud of the circumstances we’ve overcome, pain idolization is not. This idea that you’ve overcome so much that you can no longer relate to others. It’s an entitled way of thinking where others haven’t suffered as much as you. It’s isolating.
On the other extreme side, wanting to save everyone, carrying their pain because you think you can is counter productive as well. We allow people to step over us, to diminish us, to use us as punching bags because we think we are strong enough to take it.
Accepting I had done both was a hard pill to swallow but it was the beginning of understanding where certain actions and reactions came from.
Safe space and openness
Another thing that keeps us distant and unable to connect with others is our walls. Throughout my life, I had seen betrayals and I didn’t realize how closed off I had become to the rest of the world. I thought my not seeking help, not seeking love, or companionship was my way of being independent. I don’t need anyone, so I arrogantly would say. I wasn’t independent, I was trying to keep myself safe. I didn’t want to need anyone because I had been let down too many times.
Our walls keep people out but it also keeps us in. I wasn’t able to reach people because I didn’t allow them in. The more I analyzed, the more the issue had to do with my self-confidence. Confidence in knowing I could create boundaries to let people know where I stood and to call out actions that concerned me.
Victim is not my title
Part of making ourselves feel safe again is rewriting our role in past pain. I had to let go of the title I had given myself for so long, victim. I was a victim of those who tormented me. A victim of a system who wanted to get rid of me. I was the victim of a person who broke my heart. Because I continued to have that title I continued to find myself in situations where I got hurt.
I was not a victim. I learned the difference between being victimized and being a victim. Being victimized is something that happens to you and being a victim is something you are. The more we see ourselves as victims, the more we act like so, the more we attract situations that confirm that.
Reframing my perception of my life. The roles I’ve played in them and creating boundaries has allowed me to step into something more empowering. Something where I can also empower others.
We are always evolving.
Our spiritual journey is a life long journey. We must understand that change, growth, and finding our true self, is a work in progress. Two things to remember, nothing is permanent, and failure isn’t fatal.
Nothing is permanent
To learn that nothing is permanent can feel like a curse. To know that are beautiful moments are passing can leave us nostalgic. However, it doesn’t have to be. To understand that is to understand that every moment is unique and one of a kind. That we must cherish what we experience in the moment.
We have to also understand that our relationship the way they stand today won’t last. The only way to make them last is to reconnect, to continue getting to know each other, and to evolve with them. When we cannot do so, we may find ourselves losing connections or ourselves.
Lesson vs fail
Just like no peak lasts forever, no failure is fatal. The beauty lies in what we do when we find ourselves in our peaks and our falls. If we cannot cherish our peaks you have lost a moment. If you don’t learn when you fall, you are bound to fall again. Different faces, different times, the same mistake. Taking the time to analyze ourselves and face our shadow, and call ourselves out will allow us to evolve.
Growth is not loud
Scrolling through social media has us thinking that everyone is constantly on a high. They make us wonder if growth is loud, and if we are even growing. Truth bomb, growth is subtle and continuous. spirituality is not one-dimensional. It’s messy, it’s confusing. Not everything feels great. To truly introspect and work on your shadow self, on old patterns, unlearning belief systems, calling yourself out on low vibrational actions, all of that is far from confetti and aha moments.
You work so hard and your true growth shows up in small moments, that time you allowed someone to enter your heart space with healthy boundaries. Or when you have a low moment and you can acknowledge, feel, and change a pattern. Growth is not loud but it is profound. Spirituality is a journey, not a destination.
When we honor ourselves, we will do things that honor our journey. The more we get to know ourselves the more we honor who we are becoming. We learn to nourish ourselves by connecting with people on the same energy link as ourselves. We acknowledge that low vibrational actions may have been okay in the past, no longer honor who you are. You water yourself with love, with things that will allow you to keep growing, and expanding the impact of your energy.
Manifesting our reality
Now here comes the part everyone is so excited about, manifesting. How does it work? If we are energetic beings and what we put out into the world somehow finds their way back to us then it makes sense to say that we manifest our reality. What we place our energy in and what we decide to project into the world will determine the type of life we have. Well, that’s only part of it. We can journal, plan, and act all we want. However, if we don’t feel what we manifest it simply won’t manifest. Interestingly, there is a quote by Charles Munger that says:
To get what you want, you must deserve what you want. The world is not yet a crazy enough place to reward a whole bunch of underserving peopleCharles T. Munger
I think this quote is a perfect example of what needs to happen to manifest. You must put it out into the universe, align with what you desire to manifest, and let go of things that don’t align with that. Most importantly, believe you deserve it
Beauty of letting go
Part of manifesting a good life is letting go of what no longer serves you. We can’t expect to vibrate high with things that weigh us down. There is beauty in allowing things to go, on being okay if someone walks away. In accepting if something doesn’t work out. I now think of two things when what I want doesn’t work out.
- Do I need to vibrate higher?
- Or is there something bigger and better for me?
If I am honest with myself I can determine whether there needs to be work done on my end, or if I need to be patient and trust the universe has something amazing just for me.
Our journeys are different
We all have different experiences. Your journey is different from the person next to you. We can’t compare our journey or ourselves to others. To desire what others have is to not honor yourself. What is for you is already there, you just need to tap into it. Start where you are, and honor yourself. There is no step one, step two, and so on. It’s a life long journey of continuing to learn who we truly are.
Remember that we may be walking a different journey but you and I are connected by something grander. You are a perfect creation. Like such you are needed and wanted on this earth. Don’t forget that.
written by: Lupita G.