“I woke up one morning and found myself in a strange place. Instead of waking up in pain, I felt a new feeling coursing through my veins. I felt happy, at peace, and excited about being alive. The feeling had come around before, but never to stay or last. Now I knew that it was mine for good. It was where this journey had led.”
Melody Beattie (Journey to the Heart, p.192)
There is a reason to walk a spiritual path. It is not to sanctify your soul and achieve heaven when you die. It is to achieve the kingdom within while you're still alive and well, right here on earth. It requires working through the junk we carry around all our lives to keep ourselves in the chaos of unbelieving, and I don't mean in any religious sense. Too many of us live our entire lives believing that someone else pulls our strings, that we are hopelessly flawed by the events of our childhoods, that everyone has more, and is more, than we. Or, we buy into the belief that a meaningful life requires eternal sacrifice and suffering. One takes a spiritual journey, not to reach some distant nirvana, but to open one's eyes to the holiness that is right before us all the time.
If we do the work, if we bring all of it home to ourselves—our choices, our decisions, our life—then we have a modicum of control over where the journey leads. We can choose to accept life on its own terms, and be content with it, or we can choose to keep on fighting for the way it “should” be. If we choose to see life as an adventure—one that has all manner of twists and turns, switchbacks and steep grades--then we will rise to the occasion with excitement and the energy to take it on. But if we see life as something that happens to us, and ourselves as an innocent recipient of the slings and arrows of misfortune, then we will continue to be in pain.
The spiritual journey—the journey to see the divine in the mundane—offers a much better chance of achieving happiness and peace within, but no one can force us to take it. It's a matter of choice, of mental and emotional turning about, and most of all, a choice to let go of blame and shame, and simply accept responsibility, and give thanks, for our own lives. When we make this choice, each day is inspired, because we see it through new eyes.
In the Spirit,