Sunday, September 20, 2009

It's All About YOU!

I recently read a website written by someone with a very unique personal view and approach to spirituality. Not unlike myself, this person offered their own individual experience and desire to help others and up unto a point, I was pretty intrigued by what I was reading. That is until I ran across a section which implied that running into self was one of the most hindering road blocks to the spiritual journey because when we get hung up on self, we lose site of God. I clicked the little X button right then and there.

I have said this now many times and I still stand by it firmly! To understand self is to understand God, to recognize self is to recognize God, to pay attention to self is to pay attention to God. This is where so many groups make their first mistake, they put the focus of a spiritual journey on trying to obtain something that is far from reach, claiming that in order to close the gap between us and God, we must turn away from focussing on ourselves because it is selfish.

The truth of the matter is however, we *cannot* begin to find God until we begin to find ourselves. How can we know a God whose image we are made in if we don't even know ourselves? If we can't bring ourselves to do the things that please us, help us to grow, make our lives better, and yes even make us *happy*, how on earth can we expect to commune with a divine creator who reflects all of those things?

People come to a faith often times broken, seeking someone or something larger than themselves to help fix them. You see, this is what society has taught us through the ages, that we *NEED* something larger than ourselves, a being more powerful than we are, to bring our lives back from a dark point and give them meaning, give them purpose, give them forgiveness.

Because so many of us are unable to focus on ourselves, we can't find any of these things within us on our own. We lose purpose easily, have a hard time finding meaning, and do I really need to go into how hard it is for people to forgive themselves? We're told that's because we must seek God to instill those things upon us. So, we pray and we tithe, sing our hymns and read our texts, never being aware of the fact that these efforts are the very things that keep us from moving ahead.

It's all about you! First and foremost we *must* be OK with that. It isn't selfish and it isn't arrogant, YOU are the most important thing in life and you cannot recognize that in others until you recognize it within yourself. If you are not where *YOU* need to be then you are not going to be in any position to be where others may need you to be. If you are not happy, if you are not any of the things you would like others around you to be, then it's time to realize that you need to start focussing on yourself.

Also, don't be afraid to temper your humility with a certain amount of pride. Yes, I am aware that looks backwards but you read it right. Humility is a wise thing to have but don't forget that too much of it will get you humiliated. As an individual you must also be STRONG and stand upright and proud of who you are, the things you accomplish. Too much humility extinguishes our sense of self pride and worth. It also makes us look weakly upon anything we do which diminishes the positive impact that accomplishment can have on us.

In my life, a lot of people have mistook my own strength as a case of too much ego. I acknowledge my ego is there but I don't deny it it's proper place in my life. When kept in check, an ego can be a healthy thing, it keeps us confident and our ambition strong. A properly nurtured sense of self worth though should also bring with it a desire to see that in others. The truly egocentric person strives to keep all of those things for him/herself, while those with a healthy measure of it, wish to see others grow and succeed right along with them!

So you see, self is not a road block to spiritual enlightenment. Rather, self is the vehicle that makes that journey. If we don't give that full recognition and acknowledgement, then we risk having accidents and wrecks along the way. Don't sell yourself short by giving in to the idea that you must discard yourself and rely upon something else to come and fill you with ideas and concepts you are perfectly capable of producing yourself.

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