The spiritual journey involves going beyond hope and fear, stepping into unknown territory, continually moving forward. The most important aspect of being on the spiritual path may be just to keep moving.
~ Pema Chodron
Moving forward means moving through fear, taking risks and being vulnerable, in order to reach love. The spiritual path isn’t about an enlightened place of bliss as much as it is a journey to love. The former has the perception that the path is accessible to a limited few. The latter, a journey to love, is something accessible to all of us. The gift lies in the opportunity to keep moving towards love every day.
What exactly is a journey to love? There are a few different elements to consider: love of others, love of self, and Divine Love.
Love of Others
For those with a Christian background, there are many teachings about loving others: Love your neighbor as yourself; love your enemies; love one another; do everything in love. Loving people we like is much easier than loving those who are different, who share different beliefs, or who frustrate us. Loving others doesn’t mean condoning harmful behavior, either. It’s about accepting people for who they are; the soul that they are. We are not judge and jury. We are all here, moving forward, navigating life as it unfolds before us, to the best of our ability. Loving others invites opening the mind and heart to accepting others where they are, not where we want them to be. This is a life-long lesson, one that offers many opportunities to notice where we get tripped up and how we can pick ourselves up and keep moving forward.
Love of Self
Interestingly enough, love of self often feels less accessible than love of others. We all tend to be our own worst critic. There’s no room for a critic as we move forward to love. We can reflect on areas of growth from a compassionate place or we can condemn ourselves for ‘goofing up’, ‘being stupid’, or worse. We are encouraged to risk being vulnerable with ourselves and seeing the truth that lies within us. We need to see and accept ourselves before we can receive that level of love and acceptance from others. We’re not here to be perfect. We’re here to journey to love, to keep moving forward when we find ourselves in a snarl. Our choices, even if the end result is something other than we had hoped for, are not catastrophic. They may result in challenges, but our existence isn’t threatened because of them. However, this is a story that can manifest in the fear-driven mind. This is the moment where we get to offer kindness and compassion to ourselves and keep moving forward. We need to be our own best cheerleader, supporting and encouraging ourselves regularly. We, ourselves, are not a sum of the choices we make or the words we speak. We each have our own unique divinity within that is centered in love. Our daily gift is to keep moving forward to the place of love within, allowing our words and choices to align with love as fully as possible.
Regardless of your religious beliefs or how you choose to connect to the greater universal energy, the essence of that energy is love. Pure love. Part of the spiritual path includes moving forward to Divine Love. Although many people find ease and peace in connecting to Divine Love through formal ritual, like Mass or services, it is not required. Connection can happen through prayer, meditation, yoga, or even being in nature. As divine beings, we are innately connected to Divine Love. As life moves on, we forget about that connection, lose faith in that connection, or are unaware of the connection. The beauty lies in knowing that the connection is eternal. There is nothing we can do to separate ourselves from Divine Love. As we move forward on our path, our invitation is to open to Divine Love, connect to it, rely on it, and let it guide us. Every moment of every day affords us the opportunity to ask, align, and allow.
Embrace your spiritual path as a journey to love. Keep moving forward towards love to the best of your ability each day. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself if things go a little ‘wonky’ in your day. It’s ok. You’re going to be ok. Love yourself enough in that moment and keep moving forward.
Reflect on your ability to love others.
Reflect on your ability to love yourself.
Reflect on your ability to open and connect to Divine Love.
Walking together in light, love, and peace 🙏
When I choose to journey towards love,
I support my spiritual path.