A Spiritual Solution for Today’s Problems
Have you considered that all the separation we’re seeing in our world may be becoming so extreme it’s making us come together? If we don’t come together, it seems we may fall apart. So coming together will help us not only survive, but grow, regenerate and thrive.
As you know, separation is showing up on many fronts: conflicts in race, politics, environment and more.
Perhaps the solution to these growing rifts is to make the following a priority: to mature spiritually. We automatically get older, but what we are talking about here is becoming wiser.
A Key Principle
Before we offer some how-to specifics, let’s start with a fundamental principle for spiritual growth. We are all spiritual beings – regardless of race, creed or religion – having a human experience.
And we all deserve dignity, no matter how “bad” an actor a person is, however narrow-minded, belligerent or destructive that looks like
Just as peace begins with me, so spiritual growth begins with me too. This means facing one’s own narrow-mindedness, hostility and destructiveness as well as others’.
To gain clarity in maturing spiritually, here are three comparisons to help move us forward.
1. Standing up vs Rebelling
Teenagers naturally rebel. Part of growing up at that stage of development is to explore and question — sometimes reacting impulsively to adult standards and norms. It also can include rebelling with others, often to help fit in with our adolescent group.
As we mature, we take that questioning along with fitting in with our peers and go deeper.
Here’s the way forward… We can use our own hurts to heal ourselves, and in turn to help others.
In going forward, it’s something of a dance: break down, heal, come together and regenerate. In the experience, we become more discerning and compassionate.
The journey leads a spiritual adult to keep learning how to stand up for injustice. They do what they can, even in small ways.
This more conscious approach to life can include recycling and being aware of your carbon footprint. It could mean saying “no” when you feel imposed upon. It may deal with acknowledging your fears and uncertainties — becoming more vulnerable when the time is right.
2. Critical Thinking vs Dogmatizing
It’s easy to get trapped in dogma by following authorities or social media streams. In this context, we are defining dogma as “a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate grounds.”
Unquestioned thinking and opinions are found in religions, cults, and groups. One common example of this is a group that declares its members as the chosen ones, which creates a cascade of distorted thinking, judgments and conflicts.
To evolve, a spiritual adult needs a healthy measure of critical thinking in approaching important issues. Then you can make better decisions about how to live your life and deal with the many conflicts in society.
Critical thinking means gathering facts from different sources, and seeing things from multiple perspectives, including those which you feel oppose your own viewpoint.
Critical thinking also takes into account that everyone has blind spots and implicit biases. That adds some humility and neutral observing in your approach.
3. Trusting vs Overanalyzing
Critical thinking is one thing, but overthinking is another. Too much analysis fogs the brain with “what if’s” and worries. Instead, here’s what you can do:
* First just neutrally observe the worries. In other words, take stock of your thoughts and let things just be for a moment.
* After that reflective pause, start to find alternatives with the energy fueled by the worries. For example, instead of worrying about paying the bills, sit down and budget. Don’t go into catastrophizing, imagining the worst.
* Furthermore, the spiritual adult embraces not just useful thinking ability, but operating with the heart and soul. What is your soul telling you about who you are and how to be and respond?
* Keep in mind that too much trust – pie-in-the-sky, unfounded trust — leads to being naïve with bad outcomes.
* A wise mind and heart listens to intuitive hunches. Your deeper self knows when to go beyond logic, without being foolhardy. It uses both discernment and trust for deeper, heartfelt awareness.
Quick Self-Awareness Spiritual Solution Checklist
So to make this awareness more personally meaningful, you can assess your strengths and weaknesses. What follows is a list distilled from the categories described above.
From poor to fair to good to excellent, where would you generally evaluate yourself:
Standing up for yourself ___
Standing up for others ___
Critical thinking ____
Avoiding dogma and being too opinionated _____
Trusting yourself in a grounded way _____
Avoiding overthinking and worrying ____
Perhaps the above list will show you areas where you should congratulate yourself. In areas where you are challenged, consider one thing you can do to improve.
By using our hearts and minds more intentionally, we can advance spiritually.
We go beyond “you can’t tell me what to do!” We stand up for ourselves. We use our own hurts to transform ourselves and to help others. We connect with causes that are worth fighting for.
By using our hearts and minds more intentionally, we can advance spiritually.”
With efforts to make the world a better place, we use compassion for ourselves and others, even if things don’t work out the way we hoped.
We get that each person matters, all humans and sentient beings who are part of an alive universe.
By making your own spiritual growth a priority, you truly are making the world a better place. You are then clearly part of the solution, showing your way for yourself and others.