Why Being ‘Bad’ Is Good For Your Spiritual Practice
We live at a time in the evolution of our planet where consciousness has been rising significantly and a substantial number of people are becoming spiritual seekers in the form of yogis, meditators, strict ascetics, devoted religious practitioners, breatharians and everything in between. Yet somewhere amidst all these flavors of devotion to self-growth and realization, I can’t help but feel that the process of spiritual evolution and being a good practitioner is often taken on with a sense of negation of our humanity in an attempt to connect with the deeper qualities of our higher self.
Here I’d like to share with you 4 reasons ‘being bad’ in our spiritual practice is actually the exact medicine we need to help integrate our human and spiritual selves.
1. Busting spiritual materialism
If we take a closer look, we might find that, often, our attachment to our practice is directly linked to our human lives feeling difficult or confusing to be in. A strict practice can however also end up creating yet another attachment to ego and prevent it from being a vehicle for liberation and growth. By developing an obsession with our set practices and the spiritual life, not only do we restrain from knowing ourselves deeply, but we end up moving as further away from our true self as possible. This is because the true self is not confined to our ego’s agenda nor does it tolerate being pigeonholed.
So go on and be a bad yogi and practitioner and enjoy that slice of cake, drink that glass of wine, mix up your disciplines and create a fun and unorthodox lifestyle should you wish to. This is what living authentically is about.
2. Getting our hands dirty
Only when we begin to realize that true wisdom is born through an interplay of varied experience, good and bad, light and dark,that we can understand that in this life we are invited to play with all the colors and textures of our human fabric as opposed to the ones we like and feel comfortable with. So when having a crisis, allowing ourselves to have a meltdown and experience the all needed dark night of the soul, is actually how we get to honor our true self and enter into communion with our soul & higher self, as opposed to holding it all back and becoming spiritually detached.
As for feelings and limitations, we must be alert to not bypass them. If we’re finding it difficult to forgive, it’s okay to accept this and not force ourselves to do so. Not because forgiveness is impossible and beyond our capacity, but because at times more important than forgiving or not becomes the act of letting things go messily, imperfectly and humanly. Maybe that is good enough.
3. Meeting our earthly needs
A lot of spirituality teaches the importance of living independent of conditions which can be extremely beneficial. But equally important is to be able to set conditions that are kind and supportive to us and our human needs. Life is a wild and messy affair. Agreed. Yet it’s okay to want to offer ourselves comfort and love as opposed to be constantly looking to test and challenge ourselves as if we’re in some sort of ‘survival of the fittest’ competition. We have not been born to renounce our pleasures and our pains. Instead we have come here to fully experience them through our human vehicle and be transformed to the core by them.
What you might even find is that by diving deep into the eye of the human storm, we might do a better job dislodging the mechanisms of attachment as opposed to just observing them from a distance. After all, it is from a close encounter that we can end up accessing our inner mechanics and activate or deactivate the main switches!
4. Working out our life purpose instead
Though spiritual searching can be great for our growth and expansion, it’s important to realize that perpetual seeking without the intent to ground and create in the world can actually have a detrimental effect on our mental, emotion and spiritual health. Remember that we are here to enjoy the fruits of our journey, which in turn are to help us integrate and ground into the world.
One way of doing this is by setting the intent to discover our life purpose and search for the ways we can utilize our gifts, strengths, skills and uniqueness. Then the journey becomes a grounded experience of actualization and service through dedication to our vocation, our families, our hobbies, passions and relationships as opposed to chasing to experience spiritual emptiness. If more people did the hard work of digging deep to unearth the map that would lead them to their life’s mission, there would be less spiritual seeking and more living of the divine mystery fully, imperfectly and with passion.
I truly believe it is only then that the truth of who we are can finally be revealed to us.
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