I’ve been asked a lot lately why I seem to have changed from ‘accepting’ my beliefs and actions to ‘challenging’ them and even doubting many of the ‘spiritual practices’ I’ve held so close for so long. My answer is that I have discovered a deeper ‘awareness’ not just of who I believed my-self to be but of the connection between my separateness and oneness with my inner-self and my outer-being. Which basically means (to me) a deeper sense of connection with ‘all that is’. Let me try and explain ….
I’ve not lost my beliefs but by occasionally asking myself questions of why I feel the way I do about things they either grow stronger or ask questions of themselves for me to examine. Meditating (in any of its many forms) on these questions about questions is not doubt, far from it, it’s challenging myself to expand and grow into my true self. It brings awareness to awakening. It has made me realize that I had stagnated, I had reached a point in my self-growth when I believed I had reached the promised land, the end of my journey was on the horizon; of course challenging that belief reminded me that the horizon is always where it is, never to be reached. Simple but powerful when you grasp it, but when you do it throws up more and more challenges; more growth and more awareness.
Having ‘got it’ and begun to move on again I can see more and more spiritually minded people around me who like my old self ‘believe’ that they have reached the top of the mountain and have stopped challenging themselves and instead challenge others to be like them, because they ‘think’ they are the Guru’s and Goddesses sent to this earth to save and heal it. Please don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of fine people out there doing great work in healing and supporting others in many ways and I’m happy to say that I am great friends with many of them. However, these are the ones who have not stopped challenging themselves, they help and guide others whilst still helping and guiding themselves to a greater awareness.
We have all been challenging our physical and mental selves since we were born. I can remember being a good athlete and footballer in my youth (I can hear you laughing, but yes, I was!) but thought I had reached as far as I could go with either of them and stopped challenging myself to work on the talent (gift) I had. I stayed where I was, others improved, they kept challenging themselves and got better than me. Disillusioned I gave up and now I will never know what I might have achieved if I hadn’t stopped challenging myself. It’s the same for our spiritual growth, as soon as you stop challenging your feelings, thoughts and beliefs you will stay where you are and eventually become disillusioned when others move on, expand and leave you behind. Except being left behind will mean that you have become stagnant, saying and doing the same things over and over again until others will get tired and bored with you and your message and move out of your life.
I accept that by challenging myself I am also going to challenge many of those around me, they will either join the challenge or be left behind. I’m already aware of that happening, people are un-following me on Twitter, un-friending or un-following me on Facebook and avoiding me in the offline world. Maybe they simply disagree with me, perhaps you will, but I disagree with a lot of people without losing their friendship, I learn from them instead. The truth probably lays in the fact that I have made them uncomfortable with themselves and they are not yet ready to challenge their own beliefs and actions. That’s change, that’s growth, it’s a new and expanding awareness that’s called life!