Faith and spirituality are such deep dimensions of a person. They need not be limiting or confusing. You just start where you are and seek truth; in time you'll find your way.
- Have you experienced religion as a harsh or controlling force in your life?
- Would you like to become more spiritual, but you feel confused and ambivalent about religion?
- Has a strict upbringing left you with feelings of shame or guilt?
- Are you simply seeking to grow deeper at this point in your life?
"Let us love one another, because love is from God.
Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
Whoever does not love, does not know God,
for God is love." Apostle John
Don't let anyone tell you different!
Seven Signs that You Are Making Spiritual Progress - From Huffington Post
A popular post circulating Facebook recently posited that the signs of spiritual progress are about becoming increasingly upbeat, positive, and blissful, a common new-age misconception. Spiritual progress is not about entering an eternally ecstatic state -- that's called being high. Instead, you'll know real spiritual growth has occurred when you experience the following:
1) You welcome all your emotions.
Beginners on the spiritual path often believe that they must be positive all the time, criticizing themselves for having normal human feelings such as grief, jealously, rage, negativity, or a just-plain bad day. You'll know you're progressing when you accept that all emotions are essential to the human experience. You wouldn't want to miss a second of what's true in the moment, instead of attempting to force yourself into being someone you're not.
2) You do the right thing without thinking about it.
When the cashier gives you the wrong change, you give it back without even considering whether or not it's the right thing to do. You've looked deeply into the issue and seen that doing the wrong thing creates too much static, self recrimination, or negative repercussions, and it's gone deep within you to perform right action to the best of your ability.
3) You've successfully challenged your parent's and your culture's brainwashing, kept what works, and resoundingly rejected what doesn't.
People often do not understand the depth of their brainwashing. It's shocking to see how mechanical you and others are, going along with the program. Of course, many of the things you learned from your parents and your culture are good and useful, and you want to keep those. But messages about sexuality, race, entertainment, and what is of value in life are things you will want to question and, in many cases, reject the prevailing notions.
4) You have increasing compassion for yourself and others.
You've begun to discover that everyone is in pain, including celebrities with their pseudo-perfect lives, the people on the street you've made fun of, and yourself. You understand that we're all in this human predicament together and are developing a soft empathic response to it.
5) You've done your inner work.
Everyone has psychological digging to do, and you're committed to seeing it to completion. If there are still places inside yourself where you're afraid to go, you're not done yet. Do this work with a competent therapist who understands your spiritual longings.
6) You've embraced your humanity.
You've given up the dream of becoming super human, immortal, mega-rich, or having the perfect body. You've decided to live her on planet earth with the rest of us imperfect folks who are just like you.
7) You agree with life.
You've given up your rose-colored glasses and accepted that life is challenging and will never become a Garden of Eden. You understand that much of life is suffering, and that you will continue to experience heartbreak for the rest of your life. You've accepted aging and dying as a great adventure. You agree with who you are, who you've been, and the fact that you will be leaving here shortly. Amen.