Spiritual Evolution, it’s an interesting term isn’t it? When I see those two words together it fills me with a sense of movement, life, and hope. It’s a short humble acknowledgement that the way I view the world today won’t be exactly the same way I view the world tomorrow or 10 years from now.
The phrase stirs up excitement and comfort, but at the same time ‘Spiritual Evolution’ also fills me with anxiety. It lacks finality and certainty. The process isn’t a happy path to bliss. It’s wrought with questioning and frustration, which actually is part of the process of spiritual evolution.
You begin by holding an idea about a spiritual or religious principle. At some point life experiences and new perspectives will challenge that idea. If the idea holds up to the challenge, it strengthens your conviction. But sometimes you realize the idea is incomplete, inadequate, or flat out untrue. These are the experiences that really knock you on your ass.
Often when my ideas are confronted I’ve noticed a tendency to simply deny the contradicting evidence and go on my merry way. Letting the ego run the show. I do this all the time because I hate being wrong. But sometimes I’m overwhelmed with all the contradictory information and the only thing left to do is realize just how wrong I’ve been. What are you to do in these situations? What if the idea being analyzed feels inseparably intertwined with your identity. This is not a space anyone in their right mind would willingly enter. But this - this is the space where Spiritual Evolution takes place. It’s where you can grow into something new and more beautiful – in the same way a caterpillar has to enter its cocoon to become a butterfly.
I’ve experienced the beauty of entering these evolutionary spaces, but I’m not comfortable in them. I’ve learned to welcome them, but I wish there was a way around them. It’s a feeling of being naked, stripped of your clothes and thrown out in the freezing rain. However, on the other side of these experiences the divine welcomes you and helps you understand a new, more visceral truth. She brings you in from the cold and blesses you with more wisdom and the warmth of a greater understanding.
Next week I’ll share with you one of my earliest and most potent experiences with this process. I hope that you too have had your own. What are some of the ideas that have been nagging at you in their inadequacy recently? What are those big questions in the back of your mind that you’ve been too afraid to ask?