The Path of the spiritual student is an adventure. It’s a choice to break out of the traditional worldly or mass mind approach to day to day life and fulfill your soul’s purpose. Nothing could be more exciting and ironically nothing more difficult than committing to this inner journey of transformation. It’s exciting because of the liberation from the chains of physical and emotional obsessions and awakening into the reality of being in relationship with God. And it’s difficult because it goes against the grain of what 99.9% of people are doing with their lives. So there are definite moments where one feels alone and unsure. But have faith, it always gets better!
What defines success more than anything is one’s attitude. You can’t control much of what is going to happen and the more you recognize this, the faster you will progress. After all, it’s ultimately God who made us and who knows what is required for a soul to realize who they truly are. And the more you progress, the better your tools are for navigating life on Earth with its never-ending challenges.
You will find a few of prominent trajectories that typically emerge as you progress. The first is that the Light will begin to show up your wounding. Everyone who has grown up on this planet has been wounded. It’s inevitable. And the ways in which we were hurt growing up led to decisions and actions designed to protect us from further harm. While this seems like a natural tendency and a wise one, unfortunately it sets up patterns that we now have to break.
Our wounding has led to ways of thinking, feeling, acting and reacting that are away from God and our Godly nature. As children, living in the environment created by our families, we got wounded repeatedly because of the lack of consciousness of our parents. And after some time, we became conditioned to expect certain ill treatment or lack of love and we adjusted our behavior to try very creatively to get love or avoid the lack of it. The problem is that we are rarely very conscious of these shifts in behavior. Sometimes we are but a lot of them are worked out over trial and error using the reactions of the people in our lives to determine if they work or not.
In other words, we are relying on really bad sources of information to govern our decisions. People’s reactions to our coping mechanisms should not be the governing factor for how we live. Therefore, as a student, we are now going to begin to address the patterns of behavior that have developed as a result of our wounding. What this does, on the positive side, is begin to reduce the emotional charge in our reactions. We have reacted to people and situations based on our limited ability to interpret what is really happening. Now we want to change that permanently. Or more accurately, ask Jesus and Mary to change it in us.
Imagine you had a very passive father who never stood up for himself and who never taught you how to stand up for yourself. Likely you have been wounded by people taking advantage of you throughout your life. When you turned to him for support, he probably couldn’t give much so there is another layer of wounding in your search for love, help, and guidance.
If this was the norm as you grew up, you likely made some decisions to help protect yourself from the bad feelings associated with being taken advantage of. One person might decide to become enraged later in life if they felt someone wasn’t respecting them. While this would serve to back a person off, it’s not a balanced response but an emotional reaction.
Another person might have never learned to deal with people who tried to take advantage of them and they might then become very passive in effort to avoid a difficult confrontation. A third person might develop a very sarcastic and flippant way of responding to a situation such as this. Their coping mechanism would be to mock and humiliate the other person and thus protect themselves from attack.
The problem with all these behaviors is that they are reactive and out of accord with God. Bringing them under the Christ Light shows up the incorrectness of our ways of handling hard situations. They are incorrect because they are not conscious and they are generally fear based, not love based. God wants us to act in a way that is in accord with love. Granted, we don’t really know how to be loving the way God does. At least not yet. Real love is pretty foreign to most of us beginning on the Path.
What a spiritual student does is begin to recognize the triggering situations that set off the coping patterns we have built up. Sometimes recognizing them is pretty easy and other times, we are so blind that it takes a Teacher to repeatedly point out the reaction over an extended period of time before we really get the ‘misgiving’ in our actions.
The Teacher has spiritual sight and can ‘see’ what is off in the student. The Teacher knows that under the reactive behaviors lie misconceptions, old hurts, and unhealed wounds that are often coated with a layer of anger. The Teacher has been trained to peacefully guide the student so they can see the multiple layers of garbage, if you will, that are built up around the wound.
Another aspect of this process is our thinking. We have allowed certain thought processes to develop which are judgmental and blaming, and supportive of unloving behaviors. As we begin to recognize our wounding, we also have to confront our righteous thinking that justifies the behaviors we have adopted over the years.
We encounter layers of stubbornness, distraction, confusion, projection, denial… you name it and our minds have found a way to harbor it. You’ll remember that the mind has partnered with our ego and the ego hates being at fault. So it has trained our minds to avoid taking responsibility for our wrong actions. Luckily though, our soul loves being responsible so there is hope! We are shifting our focus away from mind/ego decisions and actions to soul and Self responsibility.
As the student relaxes into the process, the Teacher will help peel away the layers of the onion and slowly but surely, the student will heal, get more confident, get stronger and learn new ways of acting (instead of reacting) that are empowering not only to themselves but to others around them.
The second trajectory that needs to be addressed is the student’s ‘selfish versus giving’ tendencies. As with the wounding, most people are quite blind to how they are in this regard. Probably most people think of themselves to be more or less giving with occasional moments of selfishness and by worldly standards, that’s mostly true. But this Path takes us far beyond the world and thus we are asking to be held to a much higher standard. We look to Jesus and Mary who gave everything, their entire lives in order to fulfill the Mission God asked them to take on. Can we do that too?
Well, we don’t know yet. And let’s approach this piece simply with the desire to continually get better at this. Setting our sites on being as giving and loving as Jesus is probably setting ourselves up to fail simply because most of us are so far from His level of consciousness that we can’t possibly get there in just one lifetime.
Instead, the student is asked to allow the Teacher to help them recognize the expressions of their selfishness and point out the Way to act that is in accord with this Path of higher knowing. For example, let’s say someone at your workplace is gossiping negatively about you. A normal worldly approach might be to seek revenge by launching a counter attack. In our twisted thinking, we believe the person needs to be straightened out and aren’t we precisely the person to do it? Or maybe we will seek just the right moment to humiliate them in front of others. That should surely show them who’s in charge!
But this isn’t how God wants us to act. Remember what Jesus said… “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come!” – Luke 17:1. In other words, no matter what was done to us, acting in a way that causes stumbling blocks to others is not considered acceptable.
This doesn’t mean that God is a wimp and wants us to be walked all over. Not by any means. Working with the Teacher will help the student find the most loving approach to every situation and every conflict they face if the student wants that (because nothing is forced). Often there is an unexpected way to handle difficult situations that creates the opportunity for another soul to transform, even if in just minute ways. That’s how God works. And so God will guide us to act in ways that give the other a chance to grow.
Acting in accordance with God’s Will in a difficult situation is hard but it is through these very experiences that the student is raised up and sees the Power of Love in action in ways never before anticipated.
The student thus opens themselves to be guided and taught on how to act, how to be more giving, how to recognize their selfishness and ultimately how to become a strong servant who can be instructed and guided directly by the God Self within. This is really a miraculous journey filled with unexpected triumphs, very ‘cool’ experiences (because God is the coolest of all!), heart breaking moments of Love as well as incredible inner struggles against everything we have believed up to this very moment. Now if that doesn’t sound exciting, I don’t know what is!
Another aspect of becoming a student is that you will be able to learn new skills and gain greater mastery in life. If our parents had been conscious and had fulfilled the parental roles as God intended them, we would’ve learned how to be men from our fathers and women from our mothers. We would’ve learned skills of doing, of building, of fixing things, of making confident decisions, taking action and basically having a well developed masculine energy.
Same with mothers, they were meant to teach about our feelings, how to sort through feelings and emotions, how to care for things, to nurture themselves and others, to work in community with others and to be in process or in relationship with others. These skills, attitudes and teachings would help both men and women to be much more mature and grounded as opposed to so emotionally volatile or shut down as most people are.
Some of us got a little of this but most of us need a lot of coaching in learning how to own and use both our masculine and feminine energies in a balanced way. As you share your life with your Teacher, they will help you to develop these inner skills and if you’re lucky, some outer skills as well. For example, many people coming on the Path have issues around money or finding better jobs. Many have no idea how to do things like gardening or cooking, finding a car mechanic or mending their own clothes. Some want to learn some construction skills or improve their credit rating. Others would like to buy a property or develop an invention.
These are the more fun things that we get to do on the Path because God wants us to experience the joy of living here on Earth. It’s not all grueling self-examination and painful sacrifices. We need to be joyful, triumphant and successful too. That’s right… the Path is also a lot of fun, although it could be said it’s good clean Christian fun J!
All of these trajectories are very complex and multi-layered. Following the pattern that Jesus showed, expect at least 3 years (like the Apostles) for the transformative process to really solidify. Along the way, there will be moments of liberation, joy, heart ache, sadness, anger, deep peace, exhilaration, inspiration, fear and on and on. But the consistent relationship with the Teacher and prompt following of what you are given is the best recipe for success.
What we are looking for is the strength of character in those souls who have that burning desire to know God within themselves and become who they truly are. While one of the by-products of taking on this work is that your past will be healed and your burdens lifted, if you only want your personal healing for yourself, you won’t make it. Having your heart into it will get you some of the way. But having your soul into it, now we’re fully invested.
This is because the soul has the deeper desire to realize its full unity with our Creator God and that deep peace and happiness come when in service to our Lord. This is not a sales pitch… it’s how we were created. Don’t you want to know for yourself?
A good gauge of whether this is the life for you will be how this lesson makes you feel. The souls who want this generally feel mostly inspired and excited albeit with a slight undercurrent of concern or anxiety. There is no need to fear the concerns that may get stirred up because they are legitimate. Can you imagine at times that Jesus thought about His fate and, even though He knew He was following God’s Will for Him, felt a little ‘concerned’ about His arrest, torture and eventual death?
It is unlikely that we will face such an extreme trial as Jesus did but with so much about to change, it is normal to have some concern. But let’s choose courage and let’s be bold. If you feel your soul calling you to get moving, let’s not disappoint the real part of us. Let’s have the guts to see what God will make of our lives if we open to Him and ask for his help. Who’s with me?