Essay: Life As Spiritual Adventure
There is so much we long to understand.
Who are we? Why are we here? How is life supposed to be lived?
What role do human emotions and physiology play in helping or hurting us achieve our goals?
Where do the roots of conflict and violence lie?
And what about love? How can we learn to love more? How do we get the love we need to thrive?
Few of us could not benefit from more love in our lives. For it is through love that we get that wonderful feeling of connection and purpose; and through love we find meaning in life.
Yet when we look at these as black and white questions that we "should" be able to answer and then go on, it's easy for us to feel like failures.
We feel we do not know the answers, or that the answers seem to change with the passages of our lives.
The wisest among us, however, accept that life is a spiritual adventure.
Instead of fearing that they don't know the answers and are unprepared for what's ahead, they are able to embrace each moment and each opportunity as a moment in Spirit to explore who they are, what they enjoy, what they need to flourish, and the importance of love.
The Importance Of Love
Feeling loved—and feeling love for what you are doing and the people in your life—sends you bouncing out of bed in the morning, eager to greet another day, happy to see people, ready to accomplish great things.
When we don't have what love brings—companionship, family, meaningful service through our work, connection to community, a place in which we fit and that we love—we experience a kind of insanity. We experience disconnectedness and alienation, boredom, anxiety and depression.
We see this so often with couples who have spent a lifetime together. When one dies, it is common for the other to follow within weeks or months.
Your Choice: Authenticity Or A Pill
Yet pharmaceutical companies would have us believe that all we need is a pill to heal our emotional pain.
In fact, they are counting on the tens of millions of people who feel disconnected, alienated, bored, anxious and depressed to seek out their pills. It will mean billions in revenues for them.
Pill or no pill—can we be expect to be completely sane without being completely empowered?
When we look around and see the chaos in the world around us, it can be easy to get caught up in the kind of fear, despair, anger, depression and confusion that tends to make us feel small, powerless and "out of it."
A Formula For Sanity In A Chaotic World
In my experience, sanity comes with giving our highest service; with experiencing that niche in which we fit, a niche in which we give and do because we want to, because giving and doing—in whatever context we are in—feels good and makes sense to us.
When we know we are in the right place, with the right people, life feels good.
When we know we matter and feel needed and wanted—when we feel appreciated and loved precisely for who we are and the things we love to do—that is sanity.
And, when we are both needed and appreciated, we are empowered to do even more good.
So the niche which each of us longs for is that place from which we are able to give the best of who and what we are.
Is Wanting To Be Happy Selfish?
It is not selfish to yearn for fulfillment and happiness. That is the soul's yearning.
Therefore, it's my hope that the essays on this site will help you consider and clarify what you need to feel empowered and happy, and the prayers will help you attain it.
For an empowered, happy life is a gift not just to the one experiencing it, but to the world.
An empowered, happy and compassionate person lives as an example to others that they, too, can overcome limitations and find joy.
Yet - and especially during economic downturns - it's easy to think badly of those who are happy and have more, and to paint them with the same brush as we paint economic criminals.
Never Begrudge Others Happiness or Money
Hating people with money is the surest way to keep money from us, even to the point that life can get very hard. So, dearest friend, I ask a favor of you—never begrudge people their happiness or money.
Instead, tell yourself that if they can have a fulfilling life, so can you. Then intend to have it. For we do not give our best service through draining duty or misery.
On the contrary, we give our best service when we are enthused.We are kindest when we feel loved and appreciated. And we are happiest when we are doing what we love.
The Power Of Authentic Desire
When we answer an authentic desire, even scrubbing a floor can be a joy.
One of the happiest hours of my life was spent scrubbing a floor for the mother of a friend whom I thought of as a surrogate mother. The joy on her face when she discovered what I had done filled my heart.
Now, I didn't do it out of obligation. Neither did I do it to get special treatment. I did it out of love. And this is how to approach life.
Whether we are playing or doing hard work, our actions become sacred when we carry them out either out of love for the task itself, love for those we are doing it for, or love for how the whole experience makes us feel.
Authentic work and authentic lives call us, and sometimes with the voice of deep yearning and discontentment. We have the obligation to ourselves and the world to answer that call.
Are You Yearning For More?
Maybe yearning and discontentment have called to you, too.
If so, listen to what your heart is telling you.
you may need to be in a different place, get a different job or create more supportive relationships.
If those areas of your life do not need changing, you may, instead, need to be more supportive of yourself.
You may need to learn to stop self-criticism and start believing in Your Divinity.
You may need to cultivate a different perspective on each moment of your day, a perspective in which you realize that the people you meet today, you meet by Divine Appointment.
The Best Preparation
For that, your best preparation is meditation, prayer and awareness. Then be willing to be a vehicle for teaching and learning something through every encounter.
What you will teach and what you will learn you will not know until you are there.
But if I know anything about God and Divine Appointment, the lesson you go to teach and to learn is love.
What it looks like is, merely, the adventure.
Pandia Publishing "Be The Light"
Prayerforce.Org ©2003-2010 Clyo Beck
Background Image Courtesy Nicole Campbell