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Last week, we talked about what spirituality is, why it matters, and how to begin your spiritual journey. If you missed that post and want the beginner’s guide, read and watch that video first here, and then come back here for the intermediate guide!
As we mentioned last week, the first stage of any spiritual journey is Awareness. In this phase, you’re becoming aware of what you truly believe, think and feel. This crucial step gives you a place to begin. You can’t change or transform how you feel or what you believe until you know what you’re feeling and thinking — and many of us are taught to repress our feelings and cut ourselves off from the deeper truth within.
Step Two: Transformation
Once you have awareness, you naturally move into the next phase of your spiritual journey: Transformation. Transformation happens when you make conscious mental changes to your beliefs. Most of the beliefs you carry were given to you when you were too young to choose for yourself what you were going to believe. You had no choice but to accept the beliefs that were downloaded into your mind by your caregivers, teachers, and other authority figures in your life.
In the transformation phase of a spiritual journey, you consciously decide what to un-learn and release so that you can be at peace. You also decide what new beliefs to incorporate into your life. In order to do this, you need to bring a lot of love and acceptance into your spiritual practice. Love has the power to transform everything!
How do you truly love and accept yourself, your feelings and thoughts? By doing the opposite of what you were taught.
When you were little, you were probably told to go to your room and not come out until you could exhibit “acceptable” behavior. You were probably taught that anger and crying weren’t okay. So you learned to push those feelings aside. You learned that happiness was better than sadness. You learned that in order to be okay, you had to deny parts of who you were.
In the transformation stage of your spiritual journey, you welcome back all the parts of you that have been rejected, sent to their rooms, or banished. You acknowledge and accept your anger, grief, fear, and any other repressed emotions. You give all parts of you a seat at the table.
Self Love Starts Now
It is at this point that you really start loving yourself. This is the unconditional acceptance you were denied as a child, and when you give it to yourself, your experience of life changes. You begin to respond differently to circumstances and events you don’t like. You’re able to ride through life’s storms knowing that the sun will come out again — just as soon as you welcome the storm and allow it to be.
The biggest lie that humans carry is, “I am not enough.” You’re going to need a lot of love and acceptance to change this lie to “I am enough.” It will happen on its own as you begin truly loving who you are.
Make a list of all the things you were taught to reject about yourself, and welcome them home. Make a list of the thoughts that disturb you, and welcome them in. This is how you become the watchful presence, noticing the storm clouds come and go. This is how you move into Mastery, which is the final stage of your ongoing spiritual journey.
Step Three: Mastery
In Mastery, you respond to the feelings that arise in you with acceptance. You respond to outside events with acceptance. Acceptance is not resignation or condoning negativity. Acceptance is acknowledging the truth and allowing the truth to exist. Everything changes — so the things you accept won’t stay with you forever. Especially when you accept them! When you accept what you used to resist — you allow it move through you and pass on.
My wish for you is to love and accept yourself and your life, so that your entire experience of life becomes joyful — even when you are in pain.