Monday, April 11, 2011

Spirituality and Responsibility

I'm a broken record about a number of topics such as the importance of journaling, the necessity of spiritual community to support you, and the fact that awakening is a whole body experience--not just something you can think your way to. Along with those topics, I'm equally passionate and forceful about the importance of responsibility on your spiritual path.

Spiritual Power: A History of Abuse
I probably don't need to list out all the abuses that have gone on through history in the name of "spirituality" or religion. It should be obvious. It should be obvious that every imam, priest, pope, pastor, rabbi, monk, or other spiritual clergyman or woman who has tried to control people through fear or to enhance themselves in some way has abused their power. Whether it's the Crusades to "free" the Holy Land (keep in mind that the Arab world was the rich elite during those times--the Europeans were poor and backwards) or a Jihad that sends suicide bombers to blow up buildings, those are horrible abuses. That's made a lot of people pretty skittish about the topic of spirituality. Just bringing it up has a way of immediately eliciting a reaction whether its a forceful statement of belief or its shutting down from the conversation.

I won't say that spiritual power has always been abused though. I think think there have been and there are plenty of genuine teachers. Jesus and the Buddha are two prime examples from the past that most people know. There are plenty of others, and spirituality shouldn't be something that everyone is afraid of. Nor should religion (you can read how I differentiate the two on this link). Religion is just a tool--it's a structure to give space for spirit to manifest, and as a new wave of teachers wake up, that's part of the responsibility we have to everyone in the world.

Responsibility to Yourself on the Spiritual Path
The biggest responsibility you have to own on your spiritual path is your responsibility to yourself. I like Marianne Williamson's quote:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us."

And why does that frighten our ego-selves? It's because of responsibility. It's because once we admit just how beautiful and amazing we are, we now have to live that truth. We are responsible and beholden to it. We can no longer hide behind justifications that we're not good enough or that we don't know what our truth is. We do know. We are beautiful, luminous beings, and we have to be responsible to that.

I'm sure that you can immediately see how that would change your life. Many of you are not in good jobs. You hide your truth because it's unacceptable to speak out in many power structures. Awakening to your responsibility to yourself will make waves in the world around you. You will rock the boat. It will make waves in your relationships, especially if you've surrounded yourself with toxic people (toxic doesn't mean bad, but if people are always putting you down, that's a poisonous relationship to you). Being responsible to yourself is the quickest way to change the world, and that's part of why it's so scary.

Abdicating Spiritual Power Is Irresponsible
Many of you are also spiritually or psychically gifted. You can do things that no one else can do. Those gifts are part of your responsibility to the world. It's why you're here. You're not here to hide those gifts; in many centuries past, there wasn't any space to share them. If many people did share their spiritual gifts, they'd be persecuted or killed. Certainly, the world has not been kind to lightworkers, but that is changing. There's so much need for healing that enough people are willing to give "it a try" because they don't want to hurt anymore. That's where you come in.

I know you've seen the history of spiritual abuses (or perhaps I should say spirituality used as a means for the ego to glorify itself), and you've seen the persecution of people offering their gifts to the world. I won't say that this path doesn't involve courage. Actually, it requires quite a lot, but it is irresponsible to deny your gifts and what you're here to do. If you are denying your awareness and gifts, you'll find that much of your life continues to blow up in your face or that you're constantly feeling unfulfilled by your life. Denying your gifts for healing, foresight, speaking with spirits, leading, teaching, or whatever it is that you can do is like cutting off a limb. It's painful, and it's time to stop.


Taking Up this Spiritual Cup
In taking up the responsibility of the gifts that you have and the spiritual path, you'll find that this is just step one. You'll also have to own the responsibility of what you offer to others. You'll have to own the way that you do things and ensure that you're doing things in a clean and honest manner. Integrity is crucial because you may work is some dark and confused places with some dark and confused people. They just want to be healed, but they're like drowning people, trying to latch onto anything. That will be intense, and you'll need to keep yourself clean and clear of desires (like the desire to help) so that you know what to do and what not to do. It gets muddy out there fast, and when you take on someone to be healed in someway, you are taking responsibility of that person. This doesn't diminish the person's responsibility to themselves, but if you're the swim coach taking someone out into deep waters, you have to be able to get them back onto dry land again.

This is no small thing. You know it. You feel it in your bones and the marrow of your soul. But it is what you're here to do.

You're Not Alone
I've also been a broken record about this: You're not alone. A lot of us are awakened or are awakening. It's amazing to see it happening. So, in taking up the responsibility to yourself and to others, there is a growing network of people who are doing the same. Reaching out and seeking the spiritual network is crucial. If you're a healing practitioner, it's especially crucial that you get support from like-minded individuals. It is a long road at times. Even though time doesn't really exist, we live in corporeal bodies, and we interact in a world that predominantly believes in separation and limitations. So you'll need some more people who don't believe in limits if you're going to go beyond those that you've created in your ego-mind.

Responsibility, after awhile, isn't scary. You'll find that your fears of responsibility are just another ego-program to keep you small. It's another program that thinks it's protecting you, but it's actually diminishing you. In all the ways that I like to use computer software metaphors, here's another program ready for deletion so that you can take up the responsibility of your spiritual path. In so doing, you can become an agent of light and of the deeper, truer good that exists in life past the subjective ideas of good and bad. It is a beautiful path, and if you're reading this, it's most likely the path that you've chosen to do in this life.
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