Why do we pursue a spiritual path? And why do we follow it once we’ve got our feet wet?
I’ve been drawn to spiritual study and practice for about 6-7 years now, and my motivation for doing so has been all over the board. There’s been a genuine curiosity for Life and desire for deeper connection (with Spirit, with others, and within myself) underlying it all.
But the human mind loves to attach itself to… well, everything. So it’s only natural that even if something is entered with genuine motivation, we can get hooked into story-telling and, ultimately, reinforcing the ways we feel bad about ourselves. Red flag that your ego’s at play? If we feel like our practice will make us “better” than we are now…implying that our expression in the present is somehow lesser than, or needing fixing.
It’s important to be careful about using phrases like “reaching our Highest Potential” when we’re motivating ourselves to practice, learn, or grow. I’ve fallen into that mental trap so many times, and I still have to catch myself. The key to not finding fault for fixing is Self-Love.
We’re already perfect. We’ve done the absolute best with the energy, wisdom, and resources we’ve had. And perhaps, through practice, those qualities will change, and we’ll have the opportunity to experience ourselves and our Life with more peace of mind, less resistance, and and a heart more open to all beings and Life itself. Not because it’s “better,” but because it’s the natural unfolding that happens when we devote ourselves to awakening. (Doesn’t hurt that deep love and ecstatic bliss tend to be natural side-effects of the path, but that’s neither here nor there.)
So—why do we practice? My wonderful teacher Hareesh Wallis has offered the following, and it’s changing the way I approach every day.
“I walk this path out of Love for myself so that I may know the Truth for the benefit of all beings.”
In this way, we offer ourselves patience and grace for where we are while honoring our genuine desire to suffer less than we have been able to previously. And it indulges our natural curiosity to understand our experience. What is True. With the desire to support, Love, and heal all beings.
The following video is an offering from Hareesh going deeper into this concept. It’s been rippling through my consciousness for the past few weeks, so I’d love to share it with all of you.
Sending Light to all beings 🌻 Danielle