By Jennifer T. Grainger
Since much of the spiritual growth journey is experiential it can be hard to explain to family and friends why your spiritual growth is important to you. This article explains what spiritual growth is, the benefits of spiritual growth and why it is important.
As you progress on your spiritual journey, people close to you may begin to notice, and be confused by, some changes in your life perspectives. How do you explain to them what it means to grow spiritually?
Especially when so much of spiritual growth is experientialthe feeling of peace and harmony during meditationthe development of “natural knowingness” that is beyond logic and emotionthe sensitivity to the call of your heart and soulthe ability to joyfully surrender to the flow of your life.
Here is how I was finally able to define spiritual growth:
Spiritual growth is a process of developing your awareness of the reality that exists outside the range of your 5 senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell). Other words for “developing your awareness” would be “expanding your consciousness.”
We know there is a reality beyond our 5 senses because science can measure it. There are colors and sounds we cannot perceive, there are electrical impulses in our brain we are not aware of, there are billions of simultaneous activities going on inside the cells of our bodies that we can’t feel, yet they are all measurable with scientific instruments.
As you build awareness/expand consciousness, you grow in your ability to sense subtle energies within your physical, emotional and mental bodies, the subtle energies of your environment, and the subtle energies of the people you interact with.
Why is this important? How is it useful? The more information you have in any situation, the more likely you are to find yourself responding in ways that bring you more joy with less struggle.
Developing the ability to “feel” your way through life is more joyful and successful than only relying on figuring things out. Logic is very useful for organizing, analyzing, calculating, etc., but it provides only a fraction of the information available.
Imagine a carpenter having only basic tools in the toolbox: hammer, screwdriver, saw, and a stub pencil. Sure, he could make a lot of things. But imagine having a table saw, an electric drill, a sander, etc. Imagine how much more he could produce and what better quality it could be.
So it is with spiritual growth. A person relying entirely on logic and their 5 senses can make it in the world, but how much richer and fulfilling a life can one create with the ability to also “feel” one’s way in the world?
Developing spiritually is developing an inner compass that reliably let’s you know when you are off course for joyful, struggle-free living long before unpleasant consequences show up to inform you.
Although this explanation of spiritual growth may, or may not, satisfy the intellectual curiosity of friends and family, you can be sure that as your life becomes more joyful and struggle-free your family and friends will be sure to notice.
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