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Spirituality in the real world

February 16, 2015

I sometimes think the pursuance of a spiritual life would be so much easier on a peaceful island without the chatter of voices, financial concerns, the politics of countries or corporations and the traffic of the city. My real test of spirituality, however,  is not in environment, but in thought process.  I have slowly learned to understand how I think, react and behave is a clear barometer for my spiritual being and where I am when I am doing so should not be relevant at all.

I tend to wonder if anyone on Earth can actually be spiritual all the time.  It seems, to me, to be a bit of an unrealistic goal to be anything all the time, so I opt, instead, to do the best I can moment by moment.

I continue to learn with the strength of repetition, willingness and acceptance I have my cornerstones for continuing to learn about and attempt to be spiritual.  In the end, I suppose, one could just “be” spiritual, but for many of us the process requires a great deal of practice and, invariably, the practice is a result of conscious choice.  I choose not to react to you when you say something that I am afraid of or hurt by.  I choose not to listen when voices or feelings I have lead me away from solid action or decision.  I choose to make sure I am aware of my behavior enough so I might be able to learn, grow and change as a result of everything I do and am.  These “choices” are not always easy ones, but in practice I have learned them not only to be possible but fruitful on the spiritual path.

In program I have learned that acceptance is the answer to all my problems (page 417 of the Big Book.)  What does that mean?  For me it allows me to put aside the situations, fears, people and rabid thoughts that block me from the “sunlight of the spirit.”  If I am in my dis-ease I am unable to know the moments which are there to be experienced and enjoyed.  If I have made a conscious (or unconscious) choice to be angry, hold a grudge, live in resentment, look for retaliation, pout, act in self-pity or any number of other emotions, I am foregoing the very happiness I tell myself I am striving for.  I am well aware the world is not 100% pretty.  I know there are problems to be solved and issues to be met.  But I have also learned the bulk of what I might consider problematic in my head is usually, if not predominantly created by me.  If I can look objectively at what is taking me off-center and evaluate it honestly, I am likely about to find out this is not worth the time and trouble.  I can (should?) then accept whatever it is and move on towards whatever solution or result I am looking to achieve.

This does not make me a doormat.  I am not suggesting acceptance and walking away from every situation life may bring.  Some days I am riddled with challenge and, with the same amount and manner of thought described above I am better equipped and ready to solve whatever it is and, again, move into the better frame of mind I seek in order to enjoy my day and all it offers.

What is spirituality?  Is it religion?  Is it some etherial, hippy shit?  Does it matter in the end?  I am not a “religious” person (in terms of how those around me might describe religion in this day and age,) but I also don’t have a problem understanding the way I feel about spirituality and MY higher power could be seen as a definition of religion.  Semantics.  In the end it does not matter to me what others think about my program or how I believe.  What matters is my feeling healthy, happy, fulfilled, hopeful, in faith and able to help others to grow, learn and change in their own lives.  The better I feel, the better I am, the better I do.

I don’t dare speak to my daily attempts at spirituality without reminding myself vehemently that I live in a program of action.  Nothing at all is possible without my taking the action to provide the result in the first place.  Actions come in the form of changing thought, getting my ass out of bed (or just self-pity,) making a choice, going to a meeting, helping another human being, taking contrary action, or just applying my better thinking into the things I say and do.  Because that is the bottom line in spirituality.  DOING.  The difference between a human being and a human doing creates a path I am far more suited for.  This path potentially allows me to be comfortable in what can sometimes be a very uncomfortable world.

Today I am spiritual.  Tomorrow I will do my best for same.  The intention is there, the faith in myself is high.  I am equipped and willing, I am positively hopeful about the results.  To get there I must always….

…Stop. Smile. Breathe.

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