Going Where Youve Never Gone Before

One of the first issues people on the spiritual path have to address is a doctrinal one: Is it wrong to ask questions that I've never asked before? Is asking questions about the truth we've been taught "sinful?" Your answer can have a dramatic effect on your ability to explore who you are and what you believe in without guilt!

If anyone has ever told you that the path to spiritual self-awareness (defined in it's simplest terms as "knowing who you are and what you believe in, and letting those beliefs be the driving force in your life") is an easy one, they were being less than honest!

Finding your own truth in these times of confusion and change is no small undertaking, and it isn't surprising that many people begin the journey full of hope and enthusiasm, but - as each step becomes even more difficult because it requires even more honestly with yourself and with others - they begin to lose courage. They find a comfortable plateau - a point in their lives where things are better than they used to be - and they decide that staying where they are might not be such a bad option. Why seek the infinite potential within yourself if you've found a self you're comfortable with already?

Unfortunately, the first stumbling block most of us run into is a "biggie." We run into a catch-22 situation: we can't question our personal truth without questioning the doctrine of the religious environment we grew up in, and there's a part of us that feels that the very act of questioning is, in some way, "sinful."

Whether our conviction is for or against our basic religious beliefs, we hesitate to rock our spiritual boat by entering the world of adverbs: who is God, what is my relationship with Him, where does He fit into my life, when will I know for sure what is truth and what is not, and how do I get to a point in my life where it all makes sense to me, and I'm no longer caught up in the never-ending cycle of trying to understand why this is happening to me?

Between the guilt of not accepting at face value the religious doctrine we were taught as children and the confusion of trying to find something solid to replace it with, we move into the Scarlett O'Hara mode: who can forget the dramatic moment in Gone with the Wind when Scarlett says, in the face of adversity, "I shan't think about this today. If I think about this today, I shall go absolutely crazy." We put the whole issue of "spiritual truth" on the back burner, and go on with our lives. For a while.

Sooner or later, we find ourselves right back where we started: some situation in our lives points out to us - again - that we really don't have much of a spiritual foundation at all. If we did, we'd understand ourselves, and other people, and see the order of the universe reflected in the order of our lives. Instead, we see the same old, same old emotional chaos driving the same old, same old lives, and we feel the need - again - to question who we are and what we believe in and why our life is the way it is.

It is this sense of dissatisfaction (discontent, unhappiness, frustration, confusion) that makes us want to question again, and we find ourselves - once again - in a learning cycle that encourages us to confirm our personal beliefs and begin expressing them in our day to day relationships with others.

If our life is working for us - if we aren't in the Scarlett O'Hara mode and we feel good about who we are and what we're doing - we don't feel any need to question our spiritual truth, because it's - obviously - working for us. It's not human nature to seek answers for what IS working in our lives; it's when the situations and relationships that make up our "lifestyle" create circumstances that are NOT comfortable that we question.

If the present-moment pieces of our personal puzzle fit together, life works for us, and we are happy and contented with what's happening on a day to day basis; when the situations and relationships create pain, conflict, and/or disharmony, and we wake up each morning feeling less than enthusiastic about what the new day will bring us, we need to have the personal courage to ask why. There are no victims in life, and we need to be willing to look at ourselves and our lives - and the truth that motivates our behavior in any given circumstance - to see which pieces of our personal puzzle are bent, broken or missing altogether.

When we do everything that we're "supposed" to do, and life still doesn't work for us, we realize, with some sadness, that our "personal truth" looks good on paper but doesn't work when we apply it to our day to day lifestyle, and we are driven to find the missing element (or elements) so that we can be at peace again, knowing that we are living day by day according to our own truth - a truth that we have developed through the experience of discovering for ourselves what works for us instead of listening to what other people think should work for us.

Our conviction in that truth is soul deep, because we have applied it to our lives and our relationships and seen it work positive miracles on a daily basis. We come to understand that we've grown spiritually to the point where "truth" is no longer what we say we believe; it's who we are, and a natural expression of our "self."

Most often, the missing piece in the puzzle is a personal relationship with God. We discover for ourselves that the day to day ritual that is such an important part of "established religion" doesn't constitute a working relationship with the Higher Power in our lives, and when we limit the spiritual expression of ourselves to ritualistic participation in specific activities within certain timeframes, we're not only prohibiting the development of a personal relationship with God, we're prohibiting our personal growth and self-expression overall.

We're missing the point: spirituality is an aspect of ourselves that is present 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Spirituality is our personal definition of the adverbs in our lives, and the foundation on which we decide who we are, what we believe in, where we choose to "come from" when we deal with other people, when we have the right to be happy, and how we choose to express our personal truth on a day to day basis. Religion (that is, the "right religion" for us as individuals) allows us to express our personal truth through fellowship with others who believe in the same truth we do, and shouldn't be mistaken for spirituality.

Spirituality is the foundation on which our life is built, and should be the basis on which we make our everyday choices. It is through this day to day expression of our personal truth that we express our personal relationship with God; it is our active choice to live our life according to God's universal laws (which are the foundation on which all "religions" are based) and make an active choice to work in the best interest of everyone involved rather than focus into our own ego-driven emotional responses - a willingness to look at our lives and the world we live in with a more loving and accepting perspective that sets us apart from the average person.

Living our personal truth is what enables us to live an ordinary life in an extraordinary way, and that is the ultimate objective of every major "religion" in the world:" for each of us to experience, on a daily basis, the extraordinary benefits of having a personal relationship with God.

The questioning that comes with change is a natural process. It's through questioning that we come to confirm our own truth about life. As we grow in awareness, and begin to integrate the spiritual aspect of ourselves into our day to day lifestyle- as it becomes not a part of who we are but who we are, we come to realize that we need not feel threatened by someone else's truth or someone else's perspective.

Once we've moved beyond our own emotional issues about spiritual truth, we find that the journey to places we've never been - new ideas, new opinions, new perspectives - gives us truth in it's many forms and with it's many faces that we can use to confirm (or deny) what WE think and therefore, who we choose to be.

Questioning feels right, because we understand that it was intention that we use our minds to explore, to question, and to find our own path to Him. We realize that life issues such as this aren't really as complex as we sometimes make them out to be. We don't pour a cup of coffee into a cup that still has hot chocolate in it; we don't add iced tea to the glass with lemonade leftovers. We take a new cup, and we fill it with the drink of our choice.

So it is with spiritual truth: we must be willing to give up the old, if even for a little while, to make room for the new. Some of the old we will go back to, and some of the old we will replace with something new that is more appropriate to the newer, wiser person we have become. When we have finished, we will know the sense of being in a position where "our cup runneth over" with peace, contentment and happiness.

It's at the point when we begin to question in earnest that our higher consciousness - that is, our willingness to listen and follow the little voice inside - becomes a key factor in determining which path we'll follow next. To be all that we can be, we must be willing to give up all that we have been before; we must be willing to experience a "spiritual death" so that we can be "reborn," if you will, to a higher understanding of life and it's purpose.

It's our "higher self" (as represented by our "inner voice") who carries us - if we allow it - through this process, reminding us that from chaos comes growth, and from confusion comes understanding. As D. H. Lawrence so aptly put it in "Phoenix,"

Are you willing to be sponged out,

erased, cancelled, made nothing?

Are you willing to be made NOTHING?

dipped into oblivion?

If not, you will never really change.

The phoenix renews her youth

only when she is burnt,

burnt alive, burnt down

to hot and flocculent ash.

Then the small stirring of a new

bub in the nest

with strands of down

like floating ash

Shows that she is renewing

her youth

like the eagle

Immortal bird.

Know that your Higher Self is driving you to change, compelling you to let go of your self-imposed limitations and fly high, until you have reached your own infinite potential and are - every hour of every day - all that you intended to be in this lifetime.

Lois Grant-Holland is a Life Path Focus Counselor offering Life Path Focus Sessions, Karmic Astrology Charts, Channeled Guidance, Intuitive Readings and Classes and Workshops to spiritual seekers on all positive paths, and is the site facilitator at The A.N.S.W.E.R. - (The Seeker's Resource Guide to Alternative, New Thought, Spiritual Growth, Wellness and Enlightenment Resources.) You can visit her website at http://www.loisgrantholland.com

Mind, in Time and Space

One cannot make a decision in the moment of now. All decisions are made from... Read More

A People in Exile (Part 2)

Mother Nature has this uncanny tendency to turn upon herself ? undoing with her left... Read More

The Easiest Way to Overcome Vanity

Vanity - it's easy to mask, easy to forget, and easy to justify. We hide... Read More

Surrounded By His Glory

As communion was being passed this morning, I listened to the song "I Can Only... Read More

Dead Man Walking

One of my favorite movies is "The Green Mile". A memorable scene was when the... Read More

There is Power in Believing

I once read a story about a Catholic priest who was a godly person. He... Read More

What Does Jesus Expect?

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. --ROMANS 5:8Expectations create conditional love. "I... Read More

10 Interesting Facts about Archangel Michael

1. The name Michael means, "Who is like God". In the Bible he is called... Read More

Snowflakes

The human race had their beginning, and I had mine ? in this lifetime, anyway.Growing... Read More

Losing Control

One of the most frightening things about melting from a normal,... Read More

Anamchara - The Value of Ritual

Let me explain my approach to the practice of ritual. For me ritual is an... Read More

Preparing For Enlightenment

Enlightenment can come in an instant or it may take many life cycles.The shortest distance... Read More

Angel Connection ? How the Angelic Realm is Interacting with Humanity at this Historic Time

Angels, those divine beings of love and light, are here at this time in greater... Read More

Spirituality: Impersonating Jed McKenna

"No man is a prophet in his own country."That line keeps running through my mind... Read More

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Why do bad things happen to good people? Surely this is a question all of... Read More

Thank You Lord, Most Graciously

There are moments in the believer's life when the Spirit of the living God gets... Read More

Here To Stay

I am disturbed by the tendency of some people to view Christianity as a trend... Read More

No Other gods Before Me

The passenger had to be carried onto the plane and carefully strapped into a first-class... Read More

I Think Ill Just Go Fishin

I said something last week I haven't said in years. Where it came from, I... Read More

Are You Building Your Own Cistern?

You're looking at one star in the middle of a dark sky...The star stands still... Read More

E=mc?, Emotional & Physical Gravity

The word "gravity" is a word coined by Sir Isaac Newton to describe an unseen... Read More

New Age Spirituality

New Age Spirituality is all about getting back your power. Not that you ever lost... Read More

Creating With Words

"In the sixth century of the sixth millennium, the gates of supernal [heavenly] wisdom will... Read More

Some Evidence of How We Are Spiritually Connected

It has long been surmised that emotional trauma can lead to physical illness. It is... Read More

Neither White-washed Nor Unmarked

When I was 10 years old my father decided to dig a full basement out... Read More

When Goliath Comes

One does not have to live long to realize that along the pilgrim's path are... Read More

Lonely Photos

After first seeing my photography, people often try to understand the... Read More

Halloween Rites

For some of us, EVERY DAY IS HALLOWEEN!!! If you want to be unusual dress... Read More

Christian Ethics & Servant Leadership in Todays Workplace & Society

Sundered Knight:Although the world, Denies the weak aid and justice, Scorns charity, Diminishes morality And... Read More

The Pizza Parable

Behold, a certain young maiden did often times and at strange hours greatly desire a... Read More

New Every Morning

I have almost died twice in my life. The first time was from pneumonia when... Read More

What are Angels? Angelic Guidance Explained

Angels are making their presence felt everywhere. Once I started opening myself up to the... Read More

Life Gets Teejus, Don?t It?

Those five words are from a song that I remember hearing a long time ago.... Read More

The Lord is My Shepherd

An acrostic prayer poem.The Lord loves me and is gracious unto me. He lifts... Read More

Is Your Pursuit of Money Robbing You Of Complete Fulfillment?

Do you think it's acceptable for people to make millions of dollars selling us and... Read More

Spiritual Intelligence: How It Benefits A Person

In one forum, one participant posted this query:I think quite a few of us believe... Read More

Protective Symbols, Charms, and Totems

There is power in meanings of the old images and symbols. Below is a compendium... Read More

We Fall Down -- But We Get Up

When I first heard Donnie McClurkin's song, "We Fall Down (But We Get Up), I... Read More

Windows of the Soul

People engaged in kissing experience information and energy transfer, although we usually do it for... Read More

A Mothers Battle

The tongue is such a tiny little organ. Yet, it can be one of the... Read More

Resonance

Have you ever heard something that really "resonated" with you? I'm sure that if you... Read More

Understanding the Gospel of Matthew and Why it Matters - Part 3

The Birth of Jesus Christ18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this... Read More

The Power Of Prayer - Gush Katif Needs You Now

You can't help but feel a sense of electricity in the air. History is unfolding,... Read More

Ego - Why Do We Have One?

Why do we have an Ego?Almost all spiritual guides say that we must eliminate or... Read More

Angels on Assignment

Recently it has come to my attention people are noticing Angels popping up in the... Read More

Discovery of the Soul

Imagine yourself marooned on a vast deserted island. You have been there for years, struggling... Read More

Wisdom Quotes Point - Arguments Just Explain

"What does it profit a man to have gained the whole world, and to have... Read More

Master of Horoscope - Walter Mercado

Celebrities and common people all over the world are known for looking forward astrology masters,... Read More

The Great Battleground

Being a Christian does not exempt us from having to fight daily with the problem... Read More

Just Do It!

"It's a big challenge. It's a journey into the unknown. There were so many obstacles... Read More