The challenges of spiritual evolution are many, but for me at this time the greatest difficulty is staying present to both the temporal and the timeless, simultaneously.
The temptation to ignore or discount physical or emotional pain as irrelevant to my spiritual journey is enormous. Recently I found myself fuming over a slight at my office. I found out via email at week’s end that my boss had decided to promote one of my colleagues to be his deputy. All well and good except I was unhappy that he didn’t let me, as one of his senior staff members, know about this in person.
Immediately after the rush of anger and disappointment came an internal admonishment that great spiritual warriors let these kinds of hurts go. In the grand scheme of things this snub had no meaning. Turning to my spiritual training, I remembered from The Four Agreements not to take anything personally, nor to make assumptions. I opened my heart and forgave my boss, knowing that as I fumed he was blissfully unaware of my pain. I turned all of it over to God. I affirmed that it was all in Divine Order.
Three days later, as I related what happened to the guys in my men’s group, I was still pissed! Only now I felt a complete failure as a spiritual warrior. Even though I did my forgiveness work and my affirmations, I still felt hurt and humiliated. What the heck was wrong with me?
One of the guys said something that helped to me an “ah-ha” moment. He said that I had every right to feel as I did, and that all I could really do was to embrace how I was feeling and stay present with it with as little thought about it as I possibly could. Spiritual warriors do not stop being human; although we know how it turned out, Jesus’ crucifixion was nonetheless both physically and emotionally agonizing.