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Conquering an Uncertain World Through Spiritual Growth
The modern world is defined by power, money, and influence. This means that the task of growing spiritually is particularly difficult. In this world, we have predisposed ourselves to confine our attentions to our physical comforts, both real and perceived, thus allowing our concept of self-worth and self-meaning can become confused. So, how can we strike a balance between the material and spiritual aspects of our lives?
Looking inward for spiritual growth
To grow spiritually, one has to become introspective. This doesn’t only mean remembering the things that happened in recent times. It means reflecting on thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and the things that have motivated you. Occasionally, you need to examine your experiences, your relationships, your decisions and so forth in order to gain useful insight into your goals as well as on your good and bad traits. This insight allows you to sustain your good traits and discard the bad in order to allow your spiritual growth. Moreover, it gives you clues on how to act, react, and conduct yourself in the midst of any situation.
Anyone can learn the art of introspection as long as you have the courage and willingness to seek the truths that lie within you. Here are some tips when you introspect: be objective, be forgiving of yourself, and focus on your areas for improvement.
Developing your potential through spiritual growth
Religion and science have differing views on matters of the human spirit. Religion views people as spiritual beings temporarily living on Earth, while science views the spirit as just one dimension of an individual. Mastery of the self is a recurring theme in both Christian (Western) and Islamic (Eastern) teachings. The needs of the body are recognized but placed under the needs of the spirit. Beliefs, values, morality, rules, experiences, and good works provide the blueprint to ensure the growth of the spiritual being. In Psychology, realizing one’s full potential is to self-actualize. Maslow identified several human needs: physiological, security, belongingness, esteem, cognitive, aesthetic, self-actualization, and self-transcendence. James earlier categorized these needs into three: material, emotional, and spiritual. When you have satisfied the basic physiological and emotional needs, spiritual or existential needs come next. Achieving each need leads to the total development of the individual. Perhaps the difference between these two religions and psychology is the end of self-development: Christianity and Islam see that self-development is a means toward serving God, while psychology views that self-development is an end by itself.
Finding meaning by spiritual growth
Religions that believe in the existence of God such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam suppose that the purpose of the human life is to serve the Creator of all things. Several theories in psychology propose that we ultimately give meaning to our lives. Whether we believe that life’s meaning is pre-determined or self-directed, to grow in spirit is to realize that we do not merely exist. We do not know the meaning of our lives at birth; but we gain knowledge and wisdom from our interactions with people and from our actions and reactions to the situations we are in. As we discover this meaning, there are certain beliefs and values that we reject and affirm. Our lives have purpose. This purpose puts all our physical, emotional, and intellectual potentials into use; sustains us during trying times; and gives us something to look forward to---a goal to achieve, a destination to reach. A person without purpose or meaning is like a drifting ship at sea.
To grow spiritually is to recognize interconnections.
Religions stress the concept of our relatedness to all creation, live and inanimate. Thus we call other people “brothers and sisters” even if there are no direct blood relations. Moreover, deity-centered religions such as Christianity and Islam speak of the relationship between humans and a higher being. On the other hand, science expounds on our link to other living things through the evolution theory. This relatedness is clearly seen in the concept of ecology, the interaction between living and non-living things. In psychology, connectedness is a characteristic of self-transcendence, the highest human need according to Maslow. Recognizing your connection to all things makes you more humble and respectful of people, animals, plants, and things in nature. It makes you appreciate everything around you. It moves you to go beyond your comfort zone and reach out to other people, and become stewards of all other things around you.
Growth is a process thus to grow in spirit is a day-to-day encounter. We win some, we lose some, but the important thing is that we learn, and from this knowledge, further spiritual growth is made possible.
Anne Wolski has worked in the health and welfare industry for more than 30 years. She is the owner of http://www.mummansun.com, a discount retail outlet, and a co-director of http://www.betterhealthshoppe.com which is an information portal with many interesting medical articles. She is also an associate of http://www.timzbiz.com which features many articles on internet marketing and resources.
About the Author: Anne Wolski has worked in the health and welfare industry for more than 30 years. She is the owner of http://www.mummansun.com, a discount retail outlet, and a co-director of http://www.betterhealthshoppe.com which is an information portal with many interesting medical articles. She is also an associate of http://www.timzbiz.com which features many articles on internet marketing and resources.