Being on a spiritual path has nothing to do with shedding your ego, mastering the law of attraction, or getting up on a podium and preaching your truth to whoever is around to listen. I really got started thinking about this when listening to my man Robert Ohotto. He did a show back in January 2014 where he talked about this exact topic.
At first his show triggered me a little (as things usually do when our truths are threatened) but as I sunk more into what he was saying and started to put it into my own perspective, I realized that I agree wholeheartedly.
We’re all Spiritual
It’s kind of a scary notion and I’m sure it will piss a lot of people off, but yes, I believe that we’re all on a spiritual path. Scandalous thought isn’t it? Your garbageman has a spiritual purpose!? Yup! So do murderers, rapists and thieves. Yikes!
Here’s how I see it: if everyone were the same, how would we grow? In astrology there’s an aspect called a trine, where things are in a wonderful harmony. That harmony can be the perfect setting if you use it to your advantage. But it can also make you very lazy because there’s no challenge to your thinking or actions. When you choose certain actions, things just flow along. And if that action happens to keep you stagnant, you’ll have no friction to wake you up. You’ll just keep flowing along the same old path.
The Law of Opposites
So astrologically speaking, the biggest opportunities for lessons and growth actually show up as squares and oppositions: the aspects where there’s a push and pull effect. Sometimes it’s a polar opposite, sometimes a right angle, but there’s always some type of friction.
If we were all the same, how would our beliefs get challenged? Easy answer: they wouldn’t! We’d all walk around smiling and nodding, possibly happy, but definitely soundly asleep. In the Matrix! (I just can’t help it, I love that metaphor.)
By having people in different places, spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally, our beliefs are constantly being challenged. We’re constantly being forced to reconsider things as we approach our own version of the truth. Because that’s all it will ever be: our own version.
There may be a grand truth, or there may not be. The point of all of this though is not to make other people wrong in order to make ourselves right. It’s to accept life and our experiences as a million different triggers and inspirations to help us learn and grow and refine who we are.
My Do No Harm Trigger
Here’s a personal example of mine that led to a really big revelation, which ultimately inspired me to write this post. About a week ago I was triggered by someone who I really admire: Leo Babauta. As many of you know, Leo is the creator of Zen Habits–an excellent blog and with about a zillion readers, it’s one of the most popular in the world.
In a nutshell, Leo wrote an article about how everyone should go vegan because killing animals is immoral. I agree with part of his argument and he’s entitled to his opinion sure, but does he have to shame other people who’ve made a different choice while expressing that opinion? No.
So I got to asking myself why I felt triggered. Honestly, I have issues with people who try to push their beliefs on me and who come across as judgemental in the process. This is why I’m spiritual, as opposed to religious, but that’s a whole can of worms for another time.
The real issue for me in this case was feeling challenged. But when you really think about it and reference what I said above, the triggers and the challenges are where the biggest growth happens.
And this one was huge for me.
So then I got to thinking about one of my favorite people, Bill Maher. Bill is a well-known atheist. He openly chastizes religion and makes no secret that he thinks the entire idea of believing in The Great Flood and other Bible stories as a bunch of ridiculous nonsense.
I respect Bill though because he has a fantastic message. He’s a truth-teller in many ways and I’ve learned things through watching his show that I probably would never have considered before. He does politics in a way that doesn’t bore me to tears and really makes me care about certain issues. He brings politics down to earth and makes it relevant to my life. Even when he triggers me.
I started thinking, ok, if everyone has a soul contract, why in the heck would Bill choose to be an agnostic? And then it hit me: maybe it’s because he’s reaching an audience that he would not have been able to reach otherwise. If other analytical-minded folks are going to be turned off by Bill believing in the parting of the red sea, then yes it would make sense to choose to not believe in religion in order to reach a wider audience.
The way I see it, religious and spiritual people have a much higher tolerance for non-believers than say non-believers have for the religious or spiritually-minded. So when looking at it in this way, it suddenly made sense. To me anyway.
Now just think, what if you looked at everyone and every experience like that? We have a saying in the Tarot world that there are no bad cards. It’s all in the perspective. You can pull the Tower card and things can get shaken up, but if your life needs to be shaken up in order for you to wake up to something, then it’s all just a matter of perspective of whether it was a bad experience or a growth-oriented, life changing one.
What if you looked at everyone as being here to have their own spiritual experience and to help you have yours? Would that make you more compassionate? Would it make you more perceptive as to how the universe speaks to you?
There’s meaning to be found in every experience if you know where to look. This is one place to look. What do you think about that? Tell me in the comments!