Yes, living life with spiritual values is wonderful thing to do. These important values can truly help reduce conflict, stress, and strain in a family, a workplace, or a community. These very same values when taken to extremes though cause many a miss-understanding and a loss of self in the practice of compassion.
Often those of us following a spiritual path are drawn to personal growth and we have a tendency to internalize or take personally things that go on in our lives. Everything somehow ends up as some sort of new age spiritual teaching for us to grow by and grow through. We tend to suck it up and put on some sort of spiritual veneer that is soft, caring, tolerant, gentle, non-violent, and mind numbingly spiritually correct! The spiritual practioner tends to minimize their needs, boundaries, and feelings to ensure that spiritual life is maintained at all cost (usually theirs)!
This is where the miss-understandings occur.
This is where a deeper more human spiritual practice is needed.
I was one of those spiritual nice guys so I can talk from personal experience and show you the costs I incurred by being spiritually correct. I had mistaken spiritually for quietude, calmness, lack of conflict, the obligatory lack of personal boundaries and genuine self-expression, and the lack of any of life’s ‘darker’ energies; A kind of spiritual passivity if you will.
What seems to go missing in this type of ‘light’ spirituality is the real, raw, human being. It happened for me – I simply left me out in my service to others. I banished my natural human responses to life’s issues to the basement of my being in order that I would fit into some sort of notion of what ‘a real spiritual life’ would look like. It cost me relationships, jobs, money and most of all my own self-value. I would almost always set myself aside to serve others. It looked like I was a true spiritual fellow; problem was I wasn’t being true to myself!
Because I left the authentic me out there was always a miss – understanding. Nobody really knew me. All my spiritual correctness did was avoid natural human conflict and provided some weird sense of a happy spiritual life. I wasn’t working things out at all; my life was full of compromise and underneath the compromise a growing feeling of resentment.
My spiritual life was missing the real me.
Now, years down the road, I am much less spiritually correct and much more authentic in my self-expression. The result is there is way more reality in my life, things are way more raw, real, and human; sometimes bumpy, bouncy, and noisy. I have learned that in order to be living a human life with spirit I need to show up! I need to define my own boundaries; I need to express myself just as I am without some limp apology.
And, I need to do so in a way that does not cause injury to others. This is not to say that others won’t feel uncomfortable with my more full expression not at all, I just won’t be judging them, criticizing them, making them wrong, or putting them down. And I also won’t be holding myself back.
Yep, it may look crazy from the outside and yet from the inside it feels so darn good. In order to be and feel seen, we first must show up fully as we really are in order that others can see the real us and connect with the real one we are – no more miss-understanding just clarifying.
Me being fully me while others are being fully them living in the chaos of full, real self expression based on and not limited by a set of spiritual values – now that is a human – spiritual practice.