Spiritual growth in today’s world is an enormous challenge. Modern conveniences, gadgets and an overwhelming array of media prompt many of us to focus mostly on physical needs and wants. As a result, our notions about self-worth and self-meaning are often mixed up.
How can you create a balance between the material and spiritual aspects of your life?
Look closely and reflect on your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and motivations. You can gain useful insights on various aspects of your life by spending some time examining those things you engage in, decisions you make, and your relationships. Self-examination also offers clues on how you can choose to act, react, and conduct yourself in various situations.
It may take some time before you learn to look inside and examine yourself. However, like any skill, it can be learned. All it takes is the courage and willingness to look for and uncover the truths that lie within you.
Your beliefs, values, morality, experiences, and good works provide a blueprint for ensuring the growth of your spiritual being.
We all have certain basic needs in life. When you have satisfied your basic physiological and emotional needs...your spiritual as well as other needs relating to your existence as a human being come next. Achieving each need advances your potential and leads to your total personal development.
Whether you believe that life’s meaning is predetermined or self-directed...to grow in spirit is to realize that you do not merely exist. Your life has purpose. You did not know the meaning of your life at birth. You gain knowledge and wisdom from interacting with others and from your actions and reactions to circumstances.
In spiritual growth...you discover meaning to your spirituality. There are certain beliefs and values that you reject or affirm. This puts all your physical, emotional, and intellectual potentials into use. It sustains you during challenging times. It also gives you something to look forward to---a goal to achieve, a destination to reach. Without purpose or meaning, we are like a ship drifting at sea.
Religions stress the thought of our connection to all creation, live and nonliving. We call other people “brothers and sisters” even if they are not direct blood relations. Some religions speak of the relationship between humans and a higher being.
On the other hand, science explains our link to other living things through the evolution theory. This affinity is clearly seen in the concept of ecology…the interaction between living and non-living things.
Recognizing your connection to all things makes you more humble and respectful of people, animals, plants, and things in nature. It makes you appreciate everything around you. It moves you to go beyond your comfort zone. You reach out to other people, and become a steward of all things around you.
To grow is a personal development process. To grow in spirit is a day-to-day encounter. Sometimes you triumph and sometimes you drop the ball. But the important thing is that you learn… and from this knowledge, further spiritual growth is made possible.