We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.~ T. S. Eliot
A journey of personal development
I started on this journey of personal development 10 years ago. And even though I have learned so much along the way, there are certain things I wish I knew when I first started, things that would have made my life easier when by helping me to avoid many struggles, pains, and darkness I went through.
What 10 Years of Personal Development Has Taught Me
1. There is a thing called, Spiritual Avarice…
Today I will share with you 15 of the many hard truths I have learned on my personal development journey in the hope that they will make your life a lot easier and much more beautiful.
For a long time, my appetite for personal development and spiritual reading was insatiable. And I was proud of it. I wanted to know everything about everything and I wanted it all so badly!
When you want to know the Truth and nothing but the Truth, it can be so easy to fall into the trap of spiritual avarice. You start making provision by giving your mind and soul more than their daily portion, and you cause it to fall ill.
But when I fell into my Dark Night of the Soul and felt all of the things that you could only feel when you are in that dark place, that’s when I realized that my insatiable appetite was hurting me.
2. Not all teachings are right teachings
Just as water is life for the body (not Coca Cola or any other unhealthy beverages) so is real Wisdom Life for the Soul. And as you walk on this path of self discovery and spiritual growth, you will discover that many of the teachings present out there are lacking in wisdom. As a result, they can cause spiritual indigestion, or worse, spiritual poisoning.
“The naïve spiritual initiate is easily swayed by trappings and reputations of spiritual figures and the charisma of those who have many followers. Without the spiritual awareness of advanced states of consciousness, the spiritual seeker has no means of guidance and popularity clouds judgment. Earmarks of true teachers are Humility, Simplicity, Lovingness, Compassion, and Peacefulness.” ~ David Hawkins
3. There are no shortcuts to knowing the Truth
There are no shortcuts to knowing yourself. No shortcuts to letting go of everything that’s keeping you stuck and unhappy. No shortcuts to reconnecting with your Purpose, your Light, and your God.
If you want to Know life, you have to live life. If you want to Know the meaning of it all, you have to welcome it all – good, bad, beautiful, ugly, pain, darkness, joy, happiness, suffering – all of it!
You can’t pick and choose. That’s not how life works.
“Learn the alchemy true human beings know. The moment you accept what troubles you’ve been given, the door will open.” ~ Rumi
4. Certain things can’t be figured out
There are certain things in life that can’t be figured out. They can only be revealed to us through experience, stillness, patience, faith, and surrender. And no matter how many books you read, how many seminars you attend, and no matter how many tricks you have up your sleeve, none of them will help you figure the things that aren’t meant to be figured out. And trust me, there are plenty.
5. There will come a time when you’ll have to put the books down
The moment you begin to remember who you truly are underneath it all, and why you are here in this world, chances are that you will be “asked” to put the books down and allow your soul to be your guide, teacher, and master. And if you are wise enough to listen, amazing things will be revealed to you and only you.
“I have been a seeker and I still am. But I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teachings of my soul..” ~ Rumi
6. Just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should.
Just as there is Light in this world, there is also darkness. And this darkness becomes stronger and gains more power over us through ignorance and the abuse of free will. Which means that just because we can, it doesn’t mean we should.
7. We are free to choose, but we are not free to alter the consequences
It’s true that you are free to think, to choose and to do whatever you please. But it’s also true that you are not free to alter the consequences of your choices and decisions. Never confuse your freedom with a license to do anything.
“It is a caricature of freedom to claim that people are free to organize their lives with no reference to moral values, and to say that society does not have to ensure the protection and advancement of ethical values. Such an attitude is destructive of freedom and peace.” ~ Pope John Paul II
8. Where there is Humility, there is Wisdom
Where there is Humility there is Wisdom. And where there is Wisdom, there is a great opportunity for you to return to your Truth and remember who you truly are underneath it all.
“I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.” ~ Lao Tzu
9. Be on the watch for Spiritual Pride
As you discover more and more about your Self and the many incredible gifts and talents you possess, you might be tempted to think you are better than those around you. And you might even fall into the trap of placing yourself on a spiritual pedestal expecting the world to worship you.
Keep your two feet on the ground and remind yourself as often as possible that:
“All streams flow to the sea because it is lower than they are. Humility gives it its power. If you want to govern the people, you must place yourself below them. If you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them. The Master is above the people, and no one feels oppressed. She goes ahead of the people, and no one feels manipulated.”~ Lao Tzu
10. Through pain, you are born again
Most of the mainstream books on spirituality and personal development tell you that you should be happy all the time. And that pain and suffering shouldn’t be present in your life. But just as the Swiss psychotherapist, Carl Jung so beautifully noted:
“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” ~ C.G. Jung
When I entered my Dark Night of the Soul, I was in so much pain. And as I was going deeper and deeper into it, things seemed to be getting worse and worse. And to be honest with you, I thought I was never going to come out of that state ever again.
But as time went by, and as I learned to surrender and accept what I was feeling, I began to realize that all that pain was freeing me from the many things that were hurting me – and there were so many – so much past, so many attachments, and so much fear…
The old me was dying so that the real me could be born again. Through pain, I was being born again.
11. Through Confusion, you learn to surrender
There will be times when things won’t go as planned. Times when life won’t appear as clear to you as it used to. And when that happens, the wisest thing to do is to surrender, trust and gracefully let go. Because if you don’t, you will be “forced” into it. And trust me, it won’t be too pleasant.
12. The need to control things is fueled by fear
As someone who has learned from a very young age that in order for you to be safe in this world, you need to control everything that happens in your life, I have to confess that it took me a long time to realize that my need for control was in fact fueled by fear.
But now I know that there is a part of us that’s so small and insignificant and it wants to feel big and important. It wants to plan everything and it wants to take credit for all the great things that are accomplished.
And this is the part of us that desperately wants to be in control.
While the Truth of who we are, the part of us that’s filled with Love, Peace, Simplicity, and Compassion – even though it has the power to give life to Life, and even though is the one who creates all things – is silent, gracious and humble – not wanting any praise and not wanting to be noticed.
13. Keep on moving
There are many stages we all go through – all of which are meant to help us return to the place where everything you seek for can be found. And no matter how mesmerizing the view and how tempting it may be for us to overstay our welcome, we need to keep on moving. We need to seek only that which is true for the soul and let go of everything else.
14. You are that which you seek.
We travel the world in search of something that will make us feel whole and complete; something that will fill the gigantic hole we feel in our hearts. But because we are so busy searching outside ourselves for that which we think is missing from our lives, we fail to realize that we are that which we seek for.
You are that which you seek!
“Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.” ~ Rumi
15. Relax. You’re not walking this path alone
You might think you are all alone in your search for Love, Truth, and Light. But you’re not. The world is full of beautiful people who are in search of Truth, just like you are. Open your heart, your eyes and your arms, and welcome them all into your arms.
And these are some of the things I have learned in 10 years of personal development. What about you? What is ONE hard truth you have learned on your journey of personal development? Is it on this list? You can share your comment in the comment section below 🙂
P.S. It’s so important to listen to your own inner guidance and not to believe anything, not even from me unless you feel in your heart it is right for you. Your Soul knows the Truth. Look within.