Friday, October 21, 2011


There’s so much talk about Spirituality nowadays. There are the books, the blogs, the forums, and seminars, and then there are the informal discussions among friends. Having had quite a few conversations on the subject myself, I’ve noticed something that often leaves me feeling a bit uncomfortable. And that is how willing we are to suffer in the name of being spiritual. A suffering that comes a little close to being masochistic. Some odd form of self-torture designed to make sure that we are getting our lessons and to confirm that we are on the right path. A test that we are able to suspend all judgment. The practice of the belief that "It doesn't matter and it doesn't matter that it doesn't matter" gone awry.

Knowing that many consider spirituality to be a practice more than it is a belief, I can see how it is necessary to put action behind our beliefs. Makes sense. But often, we think that action includes intentionally putting ourselves in the line of fire so that we can prove that we are strong; and that we are letting go of the tendency to respond to people and circumstances through our egos. We allow ourselves to be subjected to stuff that just doesn’t feel good to us; mistakenly believing that if we are able to withstand the torture without judgment, we will magically learn to transcend ego. Now, I can’t speak for anybody else, but I choose not to sign up for that one. I’m just gonna have to fail that course.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand that sometimes we don’t know where we stand and what we truly believe until we are tested, but that doesn’t mean that we should seek opportunities to be uncomfortable or tolerate messiness in order to know for sure that we “get it.” There is no need to suffer unnecessarily under the weight of the belief that “it doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t matter that it doesn’t matter.” There is no need to “conquer” the ego. There is no such thing. There is only the awareness of ego. And sometimes, awareness is simply knowing what feels good or authentic to us. It’s also knowing what doesn’t feel good, honoring that knowing, and then deliberately choosing what works for us.

Ultimately, we all must take the path that we personally believe will lead to our greater good. But there is nothing wrong with acknowledging that some people and situations don’t work for us. That isn’t judgment or weakness or failure. That is growth.

-Written by Angie