“One of the greatest gifts of spiritual intelligence is that the secret power of resilience remains close at hand.”
John Homewood – author and teacher
RESILIENCE and the journey home
Many people come to me and say: “…but I am living a spiritual life; why am I being challenged (punished) in this way? Why did this have to happen to me? I am a good person!”
Walking a spiritual path is not to experience a life with little or no problems or challenges. It’s through challenges that we grow in awareness, understanding and compassion. Focusing on a spiritual path does mean that you get immunity from the contrast of dualistic living, but it means that you have tools to deal better with them when they arise. It’s how we go through the dark and difficult times that are of ultimate importance to our journey.
Think back to some of the physical and psychological challenges that historical spiritual teachers have has to work through in their lives. People who have chosen the path of awakening seem, more often than not, to be even more challenged on their journey than those who have chosen for the moment to stay comfortably asleep. I know that the egoic mind will tell you that this shouldn’t be happening to a good person like you, but it really has nothing to do with being a ‘good person’ on the ‘right path’. Think on the lives of Jesus, Buddha and Francis of Assisi for example. They were really ‘good’ people, but they had difficult hills to climb, with constant challenges to face.
Life’s challenges can either break us or strengthen us, the choice is ours. It is my view that life’s challenges are not designed in any way to break us but rather to help us overcome the restrictions imposed by our self-created ego. We are never being ‘punished’ nor ‘rewarded’ by God – for God has no needs, preferences or judgements – for the God that I speak of is Unconditioned Love, that supportively holds the space in which we play.
It remains our choice though how we go through what we go through; kicking and screaming, or surrendering to what life brings, knowing that there is always a wondrous soul gift hidden within the sharp and painful barbs, trials and tribulations we face.
While we can’t necessarily control much of what goes on on the outside, the more conscious we become, the more control we find we have over our inner experience.
It may help to look at life’s challenges this way: A diamond cutter picks up a rough diamond and desires to reveal the brilliance within it. He/She picks up a sharp chisel and smacks the weakest part of the diamond to crack away the dross. The diamond seems to cling so tightly to the dross, but the diamond cutter doesn’t stop his chiselling till the pure magnificence of the gem, which He/She know is there, is fully revealed.
And so it with us; we have surrounded our own true magnificence with layers of unconscious misperceptions and attachments, and it is the greatest desire of our Divine Maker that our true original nature now be revealed. And so the challenges are brought to us, not to punish, but to help cut through that which blocks our inner magnificence from shining. It is really our clinging to past attachments that bring the pain.
What may break someone with a low EQ and SQ, one who is asleep, and not on a spiritual path of self-awareness may on the other hand take someone who is well on the journey to awakening only through a short dip, and then magically, when they least expect it, an inner resilience arises, enabling them once more to regain their buoyancy and move back up out from the darkness of depression or suffering and into the light of life again and up to even higher levels of conscious-awareness. These people know that there is purpose and meaning in everything that happens to them, and they know that by surrendering their attachments and letting go, help and healing arises sooner rather than later.
Resilience is the key. And being awake and aware is the portal to resilience. One of the gifts of spiritual growth is developing spiritual intelligence which enables resilience to remain near the surface at all times.
the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.
Blessings with your journey, and may resilience be your secret weapon and your constant companion on this not always so easy path home.
John Homewood is an international inspirational speaker and teacher, integrative life coach, corporate trainer and personal growth facilitator. He has the special gift of making deep teachings easy to understand. and apply.