A solid platform of pure self-respect is the basis of a spiritual life. Over time, my interactions with the world cause my consciousness to become dull and my outlook heavy, my best self becomes hidden. I look outside myself to find a path back to clarity and lightness. When I see others whose qualities I admire, I sometimes put them on a pedestal, thinking that should be my path. Is it really?
The spiritual path is a journey back to myself. The pure desire of every soul is to know and be known at their best. At our core we are pure, peaceful beings, although life has clouded our ability to see this. My pure form, the best me, exists inside, beneath the noise and debris of my surface consciousness. Meditation carries me back to my original qualities and virtues, restoring my innocence and authenticity. The pure energy of the Divine Source enables me to see the pure me.
One trap on the spiritual journey is to create pedestals for those who possess the qualities and virtues we admire. We put someone on a pedestal to see their strengths more clearly and be inspired by their example. However, as a strategy to return to my best self, it is doomed to failure.
By worshipping another person, I lose sight of my specialities. The comparison to another person moves me away from myself and takes valuable energy away from the work required to build my inner platform of self-respect.
Just as a physical pedestal weakens with every centimetre of increased height, the higher the pedestal I build for others, the greater the likelihood they will fall. This can shake my trust and leave me disillusioned about my own spiritual journey. The pathway forward is to honour my inner light so it can shine more brightly.
Each of us has a unique journey back to the true self. My pathway is unique to me and can only be found within myself.
When I direct my attention inwards, I begin to experience my original qualities of peace, love and purity. This makes my self-respect grow, increases my integrity, and I become more confident.
When I open the door of my mind and heart to the Divine, I begin to accumulate a stock of pure energy to nourish and strengthen my inner qualities.
On my journey, I will meet people who have qualities I admire. Rather than comparing myself to them and building pedestals, I can be inspired to rediscover these qualities in myself. Admiration becomes inspiration to fuel my journey forward. But, to rediscover my inner core, my journey has to be internal.
The pathway back to my best self (the purity in me) is through self-respect based on my true, inner qualities. When a new facet of my best self is revealed, it can inspire others on their spiritual journey.
Teri Crawford is a retired Registered Nurse who has been studying Rajyoga in Halifax, Canada, for 12 years.