The Meaning of Spiritual Growth
The “Big Questions”
Why are we here? How did we get here? What is the meaning of life?
For as long as I am able to remember, I have been contemplating, thinking, struggling, and meditating with these questions. They are universal and timeless ideas for which each individual must construct her own understanding over the course of a lifetime. Our answers are constantly being created and revised, torn apart and patched together. Our work with them is never complete.
These types of “big questions” challenge us, console us, change us, and provide context and direction as we stumble and stride over the pathways of life. Ultimately, these questions are our commonality, the shared heritage of humankind. Life is the great question and we all work together to provide a response that satisfies, binds, completes, and carries us as individuals and as a collective group sharing the experience.
Who Is God?
As I explore these questions and work on my answers, I continuously come back to the meaning of the word “God.” Religious traditions describe God as Creator. My lines of questioning often lead me to the same conclusion.
For example, this conversation with my Self: “How did we get here?” “We have always been here. Time is infinite in either direction. Therefore, time does not exist de facto, but rather is a practical human construct.” “But there must be something that started existence at some point. What could that be?”
As I go back and back and back in the line of reasoning, no matter the question, the ultimate answer always becomes “God” – that timeless, nameless, formless IS that started it all and that continues to create each moment, that is inseparable from everything because it is all that there is. God is the great mystery, the idea that no human is equipped to fully understand. Its meaning is constantly shifting and evolving as we shift and evolve.
I believe that God is in everything and that another name for God is Love. I feel that I am One with God and that everything is connected. Discoveries in quantum science are beginning to support this concept. What a joy to witness the coming-together of science and spirituality in this time!
What is Spiritual Growth?
For me, spiritual growth means that with each breath I live more and more completely as my true Self. This is the part of me that recognizes Oneness, that lives each moment as an expression of the Love of God.
What are the signposts on the path of spiritual growth? Creativity and delight in the whimsical expression of Self. Random acts of kindness. Crying, trying, feeling pain. Laughter, uninhibited excitement. Honesty. Feeling scared. Action coming from a place of wisdom. Truly connecting with other living beings. Delighting in the senses. Basically, having any human experience!
If everything is One, then everything contributes to our growth, development, advancement along the path. All we have to do is show up, be true to ourselves, and trust the mysterious process. And leave the rest up to God.
Allyse Sonnega is a dedicated yogini, educator, mother, vegan, and overall uplifting human being that provides great service to the world through her peaceful thoughts, words, and actions.