After we move on from the phase of wanting to be praised and defined by our physical bodies, we yearn for something different, something that will define us more profoundly.
We look inward as we recognize that we are not defined by the case of our bodies. We exist even without the shell we so easily attach to our identities. Thus begins the quest for a spiritual life and understanding. We listen to the opinions of others. We study different religions and philosophies. We take classes, buy books, hang on to the words of the most popular spiritual teachers and life coaches as they their opinions will be the key to the understanding we seek.
For a while we are pacified by this journey since the pursuit of the ultimate wisdom seems to be a noble undertaking. Book after book, seminar after seminar and opinion after opinion we sort through these so-called truths and decide to follow one path, convincing ourselves that this truth/belief we have chosen is the best choice.
Then, if we dare to understand that we chose the belief and there is no ultimate truth as far as spirituality goes, we can make a mature decision to understand that all beliefs are a choice.
When we understand that all beliefs are a choice then we can move on to the real spiritual growth. Instead of following the most popular guru of the moment, we recognize our own authority to choose which beliefs feel right to us. We can decide that we will simply create our own beliefs from a hodge podge of those that were presented to us or we can truly recognize our own creative spiritual power and create a system of spiritual beliefs of our own.
Spiritual growth is not about following someone else’s religious instructions to the letter. It is not about laying down your life for others and being selfless. It is not about being compassionate or empathetic. It is not dictated by someone who calls himself a spiritual authority.
Spiritual growth is truly defined by the moment you realize that you do not need a spiritual leader to tell you how to grow.
You define your own journey because every belief is your CHOICE. When you give someone else the power to steer your journey you are diminishing your own power to think and choose for yourself; you become a slave to their approval.
No one has to approve of you. No one has to select you to serve. No one should be given that much authority that you feel you can not be a decent human being without directing your spiritual life in the way that they dictate.
You do not need a spiritual leader because you have the same capacity that they have to think and choose for yourself. Trust yourself even more than you would trust them. They are human just like you. They don’t have access to some special vault of knowledge that you aren’t privy to. They are making things up as they go along and you can do the same.
Life is not a test. Spirituality is not a race.
You will know that you have achieved spiritual growth when you step out of the shadows of others who have declared their leadership over your spiritual growth.
Time to grow up, young lady. You can live a good life on your own terms.
Your destiny is waiting for you to create it.
You are your ultimate authority. You are your only judge.