Beyond personal development lies spiritual development. Personal growth urges you to develop your personality. Spiritual growth urges you to develop your spirit. Both are life long pursuits that lead you into your soul. Integrate your personal growth and your spiritual growth and you will have the ability to follow the promptings of your soul.
The number of life lessons and challenges that every spiritual aspirant will tackle throughout the course of their lives varies from person to person, but one lesson is certain.
One challenge is universal.
Learning the art of humility is unavoidable if you are devoted to your personal and spiritual growth.
Humility is a hard lesson to master because it usually involves a good dose of humiliation. Most people go out of their way to avoid scenarios that may leave them vulnerable to being humiliated. After all, feeling embarrassed is bad enough, but humiliation is worse.
Humility can be a bitter pill to swallow, but if it’s coated in lessons about how to be grateful for the big and little things in your life, then it certainly helps the medicine to go down a whole lot easier. Gratitude teaches the learner to be humble, which is a much sweeter way to learn humility.
Humility leads to spiritual happiness, whereas humiliation leads to personal unhappiness. Gratitude is the key to humility and thus spiritual happiness.
Happiness can be fleeting and elusive, whereas gratefulness is enduring. If you want lasting happiness, then one way to do that is to replace the pursuit of happiness with a daily practice of gratitude. Eternal gratitude grants you access to spiritual happiness.
To develop and refine your ability to be grateful, practice being grateful for all the good things in your life. When you master the art of being grateful for all the small, positive or good things in life, and when this comes easily to you, and it’s your habit to do so, your next challenge is to move onto some of the small, negative or bad things in your life. Start small and start with the positive things, then move onto the small bad things so you learn to be grateful for the bad or negative things in your life too.
There is a reason for this apparent madness. Being grateful the good and positive people, places, objects and situations in your life is easy. In fact, sometimes it’s too easy. It’s very good for your personality and your self esteem, but it takes a lot more than this to make an impression on your spirit. The spiritual challenge is to be grateful for your life when things are not so easy.
Every difficulty contains a gift. Each one forces you to find and develop your spiritual strength and personal resources. You discover emotional and mental qualities you didn’t know existed before the challenge. When you can be grateful for the whole of your life – the positive and negative, the good and bad, the easy and the challenging things in your life – then you are moving closer to realising spiritual happiness.