A friend and I were recently discussing what drove him to explore his spirituality and I realized that his reasons were more common than most people would probably think. Put simply, most people begin their spiritual journey to help them find fulfillment. But what happens when a person tries to find happiness in the traditional “worldly” ways without success and then turns to spirituality?
Most people tend to seek spiritual fulfillment when nothing else works, sure. But one of the biggest snags with this is that people tend to get so caught up in some expectation or idea of what being spiritual will bring that other aspects of their lives get turned up-side-down. Why?
If we look at the basic principles of spirituality and the traditional teachings in general, being spiritual often implies that a person learns to live on faith; to “let go and let God” so to speak. And because many people are stuck in certain swings of duality, they go from one extreme to another until they find a middle ground and become balanced. Those swings in focus can cause havoc in their lives because balance is crucial in everything. For example, most people who only focus on material things aren’t fulfilled because relationships become neglected. Most people who focus only on relationships aren’t fulfilled because the material, financial & spiritual get neglected. Spiritual focus isn’t different in this regard and considering that the majority of people classify life as: love (which are all relationships; friendships and romantic), money and material belongings, spirituality, and health, when more focus is put in mainly one area the other aspects suffer. If you look at what life consists of, neglecting any area can easily create imbalance and therefore unfulfillment. I am just as guilty of this as everyone else because my main focus has been relationships and spirituality which caused me to detach from money and health.
This brings us to “thought vs. action”. When someone gets into the New Age concepts, such as the Law of Attraction, they usually find it quite easy to form beliefs that the major part of their efforts, if not the only effort needed, is to “think positive thoughts”. Yes, our thoughts are creative, absolutely! But as with anything and everything, balance is an important part of achieving a goal. I mean let’s face it, most people wouldn’t say out loud that they expect a new car to magically appear in their driveway just because they “put it out there” and thought positively about it. But I think it is important to admit that when a person ventures into the realm of spiritual, in many ways that is what is happening internally. But as people we learn through trial and error; through exploring one and then the other, so it is natural to dive more into one direction than another at any given moment.
Put aside for a moment, the reasons that someone might choose to focus on manifestation teachings and look at the reality of life; sometimes it is vital to take action to get where you desire to go. Sure, some people appear to be luckier than others and have what seems to be an easier time getting what they want. But even those people take action. Have you experienced “the grass is always greener” yet? Do you recall ever thinking that if you only had “this or that”, life would be better or easier only to discover that once you obtained whatever you were shooting for, your desire changed and life really wasn’t much better or easier? I ask because even so called “lucky” people struggle with fulfillment and are working towards balance.
So I think the key to moving forward with any kind of true momentum is to work at your desires from all angles and learn to ask yourself “Is my experience right now affecting my life spiritually, financially, in relationships or my health?” And if so, what is the effect? If you can start to see where you are putting most of your focus you can then start to see what aspects of your life are being neglected and potentially see the effects of that neglect on your goal.
And understand that if you have turned to spirituality for your fulfillment, the actions that you may need to take in regards to your desires might not always be clear, and that is another expectation that many people have when they turn to their spirituality for fulfillment. But try to keep in mind that you can always make a different choice if a choice that you have made did not produce the desired results. One thing that I have learned is that everyday is a new opportunity to make different choices and to take steps toward whatever goals that I have. Even if your desire is to overcome something like depression, try to approach that goal in a balanced fashion so that you can have more options to address the problem. And be patient with yourself because you might be able to fill your head with all kinds of positive thoughts but if you never leave the house or interact with others (or whatever else you might be tempted to avoid) you may never be in the correct place to receive an opportunity for your desire to actually be experienced. You can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket, or get a job if you avoid filling out applications.
Taking action and positive thinking are just two of the biggest hang-ups that people tend to have when they begin to explore their spirituality, but there are more that we can address later. For now though, try not to neglect the other aspects of yourself and remind yourself when you wake up that you are a complex being realizing itself through all of your experiences. And because of your complexity you won’t have all of the answers by the end of the day and that is okay. All of your experiences matter and as you learn about yourself you will be able to make better and/or different choices that may better serve you tomorrow.