You’ve done the work.
You’ve read the books, bought the courses, and sat at the guru’s feet, and you feel that you fully embrace your spirituality.
Now stop weaponising it.
I’ve worked with many clients that have been on a spiritual journey and then assume that they’ll float on a cloud for the rest of their lives and get upset when they still fall into a pity pit or have negative thoughts, but we’re not meant to make zen our zenith.
The idea is to be you on your best day, to recognise the god you are, and that you’ll still feel shitty some days.
Unlock your spiritual handcuffs
When you first discover your new-found feelings of peace and oneness, the world looks great.
You see through the illusion of reality and recognise that your reactions are gifts to let you know what’s happening inside your head.
But when the inside of your head gets messy and murky, and even though you know where your feeling is coming from, you still feel upset and anxious about being able to pay your rent, you might worry that you’ve slipped off your spiritual perch.
Or you might beat yourself up because you know how it feels to rise above the noise in your head and think you can’t be doing it right because you’re not feeling the peace.
So you use your weaponise your spirituality to beat yourself up.
Or you use it to beat someone else up.
Oh, I don’t mean physically. You’re much too mindful of doing anything like that.
But you consciously or unconsciously use your spirituality to make someone else feel bad. You act in a superior way because you’ve found what everyone is looking for.
You’ve become a guru inside your head, and you’re checking out inside of checking in with the people around you. You think you’re on a higher plane and don’t want to engage with base mortals.
Innocently you’re using your spiritual understanding like handcuffs that limit how you behave, and rather than expanding your awareness, you’ve locked yourself into one way of being.
If you feel that you’re using your spirituality as a thing, unlock those metaphorical handcuffs and remember the feeling of freedom you had when you felt at one with everything, not separate or above.
And if you’re using your understanding against yourself because you should know better, read on.
You should know better
Have you ever had a hangover? Probably yes. And probably more than one. This could be drink, drugs, or even a food hangover.
But when you suffered your first hangover, I’ll bet you said you’d never do this again. Until the next time.
Why did you do it again? After all, you should know better.
You did it again because you’re human. And it doesn’t matter how often you’ve meditated, chanted, or listened to your favourite Buddhist monk; you’ll still do it again.
Have you heard the story of the man who sat in a cave meditating for ten years? Various friends left food and drink at the mouth of the cave, but he didn’t engage with them while meditating.
After ten years, he was done. He had reached nirvana and was ready to come back to the world.
He went into the village and came across a group of children playing. He was, understandably, a bit dirty and smelly with a long straggly beard after ten years in a cave. The children started to laugh at him and call him names,
But he was able to rise about the taunting. Until he snapped and shouted furiously at them.
And then, sighing, he headed back to his cave as he wasn’t done after all.
If you get upset or anxious, this doesn’t mean that you have to head back to your cave. It only means that you have some upset and anxious thinking.
I often hear people say that they still get upset and that after all their training, they should know better.
But you do know better. That’s why you’re upset. You know that you don’t have to feel upset, so rather than weaponising your spirituality to wear as a hair shirt, feel grateful that you know how to let go of the feeling.
Being upset with the feeling will only hold it in place for longer.
Don’t use your understanding as a new set of rules to avoid being human
You might think that you can avoid feeling bad because you’re on a higher path.
Or you don’t get moods because you can think your way out of them. Good luck with that.
You know we all get into different moods, like the British weather, every season in one day, so why would you try and do anything with a mood? The thinking that created the mood has already left the building, so there’s no point trying to do anything with the thought.
Accept that, yes, you might feel down or fed up, scared or angry, and so what? Don’t make the mood mean anything about you.
Imagining that the mood tells you anything about you or your life is like building a car out of the sand on the beach, jumping in it, and trying to drive home. Neither the car nor the mood is real or lasting.
It doesn’t matter what kind of feeling or mood you’re in; you can’t not be spiritual. Whether you spend years studying or propping up a bar, you are a spiritual being.
We are material beings for but a moment in time, but we are spiritual beings forever.
And however spiritual you are, you can’t use spirituality to bypass being human.
If you, like me, enjoy meditating and exploring your spirituality, crack on. But recognise that this doesn’t make you more spiritual than others.
I have two degrees in English Literature, but this doesn’t make me more intelligent than someone who doesn’t have a degree; it only means that I can dissect a book and investigate the themes differently.
Avoid making your spirituality a weapon to beat yourself up with, rise above, or protect yourself from those you consider less spiritual because that defeats the object.
Admit that sometimes you don’t want to see a silver lining. Sometimes you want to drop the weapons and moan and gripe.
Because however spiritual you’re being, you’re a human being too.