8.12.2009

Learning to walk a Spiritual Path

Living by Spiritual Principles

by David Lee Byrd – Adapted from “Living a Spiritual Life

Building a spiritual foundation for life is a most difficult task for any human being. Our entire existence is from start to finish a physical experience. We come into this world innocent, dependent upon the comfort and security of our mothers’ womb. In a moment of time we find ourselves thrust out into a cold sterile room where our first experience is a slap on the rump which starts our little lungs pumping along with all the other bodily functions. Awareness?

We are totally dependent; our only pleasure comes in physical form. Nourishment, the touch of our parents, these are the things that bring comfort. Everything that stimulates us is physical/material. A warm bath, pictures on our walls of Winnie the Pooh, The voices of those around us.

Shortly we begin to explore, touching, tasting, smelling. Oh! The things to see, to discover, to experience. Television becomes a major source of input. Advertisements that bombard us with sexual innuendoes (physical pleasure), beauty products (physical enhancements), cars, clothes, homes and appliances (physical comforts), the pursuit of money and physical pleasure is deeply entrenched in our forming minds. The desensitization of human worth or value is common with the onslaught of violence, murder and power as depicted in movies and shows.

As we grow in body and mind we begin to experience disappointment, pain, fear and anger. We have not been prepared for this, we do not have the coping skills to properly evaluate and understand. We want to feel good about ourselves and the world. But all of the things we have been taught to value leaves us empty, hurting. We have been taught once again by television and society to seek instant relief. Many of us turn to drugs and alcohol (emotional band aids) for we find at least temporary respite.

We find no easy answers so we shut down. We ignore the emptiness. We turn to anger venting our frustration and pain. We attempt to fill our lives with more and more physical pleasures. None of these things work so again many of us turn to drugs and alcohol. They become our consolers, our comfort, our friend. Unfortunately they too turn on us creating more pain, anger and fear. So what do we do now?

The answer to this question is buried deep within you. It has been buried by all of the false beliefs handed down to us from lost generations. Buried by all the pain, frustration, disappointment, discouragement, ambivalence and apathy each of us has been subject to.

THE THREE KEY PRINCIPLE

Principles are guidelines for successful living. Developing the individual life principles below is but a first step towards developing a spiritual way of life. It is an essential step without which spirituality becomes merely a good idea without substance. The development must be approached in the same manner with which one would eat an elephant; one bite at a time.

Prayer
Patience
Perseverance

Courage
Commitment
Consistency

Desire
Determination
Discipline

Vision
Veracity
Vigilance

Hope
Honesty
Humility

Resiliency
Responsibility
Relentlessness

Forgiveness
Faith
Fortitude

Sobriety
Seeding
Sacrafice

Trust
Tenacity
Tact

Growth
Giving
Gooodness

Love
Loyalty
Longevity

Willingness
Wisdom
Worship


Once these principles have become personal characteristics or traits that are deeply ingrained in every aspect of our being we find that all obstacles, all trials and tribulations, all challenges are now opportunities for growth. Each hurdle overcome brings us closer to a place of peace and serenity. Fear and uncertainty no longer have a place in our hearts and minds. We walk with a sense of meaning, power, and confidence.
This state of mind and being brings us to a place where the two most important principles begin to take shape and form. These are the principles of love and newness.

LOVE IS THE GREATEST POWER KNOWN TO MAN

Love in action:

Loving yourself is manifested through the process of making good, healthy choices for your life. As we love ourselves we begin to eat right, exercise, embrace a sober life-style, get the proper rest, embrace growth/change, become responsible, surround ourselves with uplifting, encouraging, nourishing thoughts and encouragement’s.

Loving family members is displayed much the same way. When we truly love a child we encourage them to take care of themselves. We discipline them correcting negative behaviors. We sometimes must make difficult choices knowing that the easy way is not the best way. Love creates the energy or power necessary to remain steadfast in our efforts to teach our loved ones.

Love of our fellow man is again much the same. We love by being kind, generous, charitable, humble, understanding, forgiving, honest, trusting etc.

Love is displayed through our actions not our emotions.

It is necessary to remove all sexual experience from our definition of love.
The coupling of two people through sex is a wonderful experience and it most certainly creates emotional bonds. For a man and woman who are committed to each other it is the icing on the cake. It is an expression of the love (commitment) they have for one another, but it is not love in and of itself.

By removing the sex act from our definition of love we are able to see clearly how we can have love for our brothers and sisters. Man to man. Woman to woman. We can see that to love them means being helpful, kind, generous and most importantly honest even when it means placing ourselves in a position of vulnerability. In the position of being rejected, judged or condemned. When necessary, to give tough love.

There are many misconceptions (lies) that are perpetuated about love. One of the most devastating is that you can’t love someone else until you love yourself.
This lie is meant to hinder or completely stop us from expressing love.
Love by its’ very nature is a reward unto itself. We surely love ourselves when we love others. When you couple true humility with love, the act of loving becomes recompense in and of itself.

The surest way to enjoy the fruit of love is in the giving of it.

The human being is meant to continually experience growth. When there is no growth, unhappiness and stagnation follow which leads to decay and death. As you love others, experiencing the benefit of self-love, you will then begin to discover an energy, a drive to experience more and more the wonderful things life has to offer, this promotes and enhances growth.

LOVE THE ESSENCE OF GROWTH

We know how self-obsession has led to a life of misery and pain. Most of us have experienced being loved in wonderful ways but still finding that there was an emptiness within us that could not be explained. The truth is that regardless of how much were loved by others that emptiness will remain until we learn to love others.

Happiness and a sense of well being does’ not come in being loved. Rather it comes in loving.

WHEN WE TRULY LOVE SOMEONE WE DISPLAY

Patience
Kindness
Generosity
Understanding
Trust
Hope
Honesty
Perseverance
Gratitude

We cannot run out of love to give. Once you begin the practice of loving you will find that it is like a river. It cannot be depleted. The more you give, the more you will find you have to give.

Again, as we give love we begin to experience a life wonderful, full and joyous.

Remember that love is a sharing and a giving, quite the opposite of self-obsession. It is reasonable and logical to conclude that the results will be exactly the opposite as well.

NOWNESS

In all of life you will find no one who is successful or
content who has not mastered the art of nowness.
~~~~~

This moment is what you have. There is no other time that matters. The choices you make here & now, in this present moment determines each and every moment that will follow.

This moment in time is like a brick in the foundation of the rest of your life. If you are going to have the life you desire then you must give 100% of your attention & energy to this exact moment in time. This may sound obvious, or easy to accomplish but it is incredibly
difficult requiring diligent effort & awareness.

Our past disappointments & hurts coupled with our fears based on these past experiences cloud our ability to clearly interpret the present, they create a fear of all that is to come which also confuse our interpretations of the now.

As long as the past circumstances that have caused us pain remain unresolved we will be bound to the fear they have created, our choices will be dictated by past failures, the unpleasantness of scorn, abuse, judgment & condemnation that we have experienced.

In order to become practiced in the art of now-ness which allows us to clearly focus & interpret the moment we are in requires that we face our demons. We must learn to live in forgiveness, it is the only anti-toxin to the poison of bitterness & resentment that is reflected in the present.

Recognizing that it is interaction with others that has caused the scars creating a veil through which it is impossible to see through clearly, gives us the direction towards which we must focus our forgiveness.

We must forgive those who have hurt, disappointed, rejected, neglected, or abused. Leo Buscaglia said "Don't hold to anger, hurt or pain. They steal your energy and keep you from love." They also keep you out of the now, anchored to the pain of yesterday & the fear of tomorrow. We must also forgive ourselves; guilt and shame act like anchors weighing us down to another time and place.

Live in the now, develop the consciousness of nowness. Let nothing deter you from this endeavor, it is the pathway to oneness with God, the world, & inner peace.


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1 comment:

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