1. The spiritual path is not synonymous with glitter and rainbows — not indefinitely. There are moments of divine bliss when, somehow, every worry we carried falls away like storm clouds parting the sky; however, this path also involves it’s fair share of thunderstorms and overcast skies. It holds dawn, dusk, and all the light and darkness between the two.
2. It is not a path of escape. While on this road, we do not free ourselves from the day-to-day requirements of life, of our dynamic and often challenging relationships with others, or of the necessities that hold this material existence together. We do not run away from these things; rather, we walk side by side with whatever exists in each moment.
3. The spiritual journey is not a club. There are no prerequisites, no skills necessary, and no one but yourself has authority over the matter. It’s a personal journey. No one invites you to wake up to the path you are on except for that little voice inside that whispers some higher truth or inner wisdom that wishes to self-explore.
4. Since this road is not about belonging to a club, the spiritual journey does not grant an individual authority to judge another’s path. Let’s face it: our species can get judgmental and the ego will quickly try to take reign of these spiritual ropes just as quickly as it does any other venture we pursue. It is not about being ‘better’ than anyone else — and on the flip side, it is also not about being more inadequate than another. The spiritual journey is about looking inwards rather than pointing fingers on what’s out.
5. That said, the spiritual road is not about blaming ourselves, staying in unhealthy situations, or tolerating abuse of any sort due to any blindness to what is happening outside of ourselves. The spiritual path does not mean that we say ‘yes’ to everything; it is a process of uncovering our truths and our deepest needs, and represents an opening of our hearts to find what rests at the core of any given challenge we encounter.
6. The road is not an easy one. It takes courage and commitment to view one’s life and the world around from a place of higher understanding. It involves a witnessing of the ego; a letting down of the guard we have worked so hard to build up. It gets hard before it gets easier, and truth be told, it will likely get hard again. No one said it would be easy, but hopefully the meaning we find throughout the journey makes it worth it.
7. It is also not always a hard path and not necessarily harder than the one we’ve been walking. Seemingly a contradiction to the last, but it begs the question, is ignorance truly bliss or is finding some truth about our conditioning a way into freedom and happiness? Our fear of looking at life’s challenges from a place of higher mind can keep us within the victim mentality, a perspective that is not a walk in the park. The spiritual path has the potential to open our eyes to a different way of seeing and that is liberating.
8. This road is not about arriving at some fixed destination at some undefined future moment of time; it is a continual unfolding that is always present. So long as we are within the physical parameters of our humanity, we will continue to be challenged, continue to be surprised, continue to be pushed, and continue to be supported. As we begin to foster unconditional love for the place that we find ourselves, time and time again, we start to understand what this whole spiritual pursuit is all about.