Barriers to spiritual growth

Life is difficult. So I read in The Road Less Travelled, around the late 1990s when I started being conscious of spiritual growth. Yeah, yeah, I thought. And now, my latest blistering insight:

Life is difficult.

Well. And, life is easy. Life is OK. Life is manageable.

A barrier to spiritual growth is that I imagine what I will look like, after it. I think of spiritual growth as a way to become Perfect me, who has no problem doing what I ought to do, or never feels unpleasant emotions, or has mastered the gifts The Serenity Prayer asks for.

Or, I imagine that it is growth towards a particular way of being rather than life-lessons, which may appear paradoxical or contradictory, which I may forget and need to re-learn again and again. So, life is difficult; and life is easy. Right now, I don’t have to go outside my front door if I don’t want to. I can spend as much time writing on my blog as I like- with minimal revision, just changing the most poorly expressed bits, and no judgment by editors.

I feel I ought to want more. I am not motivated to seek more- to write for publication, to seek stage time, to apply for a job, even to read an improving book- because I do not see it as improving my situation. Old immature understandings poisoned by Perfect me get in the way: I should get to a place instantly, the effort should not be overwhelming, I should see exactly where I will be. What step do I want to take today? No idea. I would rather watch silly telly.

I don’t know where to go from this. Perhaps someone really will rescue me. Perhaps I will see something I feel I can do, and go for it. I do, after all. I have been AM clerk. At the moment, though, enjoying where I am- with time to watch TV, whatever- can’t be that bad.

What do I want? Not this! I want to want more than this! I want to build something! Well, if the road to fulfilment is what I want, then right now this is what I want. Stop wanting things because I was told to.

7 thoughts on “Barriers to spiritual growth

  1. I think that human suffering is an impetus for growth and to make us want to do things. My dysphoria has been like that and I have come to see it as a challenge that I need to turn somehow into my favor. Probably the hardest thing to do in life is to become ourselves and truly breathe the way we want to because we are so constrained and we only learn to live as we get older. Finding that internal courage to buck the system is not easy but it is almost a prerequisite for advancement. When the need is truly there you will find a way to attain your goal….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Clare! May I suggest you look into Theory of Positive Disintegration, which teaches (truthfully, I’d say) that experiencing the chasm between what is and what ought to be is the mark of both mental health and authentic existence?

    Just look up positive disintegration and see what comes up. You may like it, I think.

    I do believe that yearning in you is not something to fight, but rather to embrace and listen to, as it is a sign of your yet unrealized potential, rather than something you’ve been told to desire.

    You may also like Charles Eisenstein’s books: http://charleseisenstein.net/books/

    Hugs. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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