5 Ways You Can Think You Are on a Spiritual Path, But Not BeBy Dr. Margaret Paul
April 08, 2019
If you are on a spiritual path, are you honest with yourself about your true intent?
"...The form our faith takes is less important than the love it imparts....The bedrock of spirituality is to learn about love."
--Judith Orloff, M.D. Second Sight, p. 166-167
The spiritual path is a path of love. There are many people who claim to be devoted to a spiritual path, yet love seems not to be a part of their path. What are they doing that they claim is spiritual if learning about loving themselves and others is not their highest priority?
Some people attempt to use religion and prayer as a form of control - hoping to have control over getting what they want if they pray "right," or believe the "right" thing. Often, they are very judgmental toward others who don't believe as they do, which certainly has nothing to do with love.
Some people use prayer and meditation as an addiction - a way to "bliss out" and avoid responsibility for their feelings.
Some people believe that being "selfless" and just giving to others is the path of love, but without loving themselves and sharing their love from a full place within, they may have an agenda of getting others' love or approval - or getting God's love - attached to their selflessness.
Some people get fascinated with things like learning to leave their bodies, or the power of crystals and precious stones, and forget that the important part of the spiritual path is about love.
- Some people spend years studying spiritual literature - such as The Bible or The Course in Miracles - and they have all the knowledge in their mind but none in their experience. They believe that knowledge rather than the actual devotion to loving will somehow get them where they want to go.
The Spiritual Path of Inner Bonding – A Path of Love
I love the quote by my colleague Judith Orloff. In a few words, she states the major problem with religions that believe that the form faith takes is more important "than the love it imparts." Dr. Orloff states what Inner Bonding is all about - learning about love.
When learning about love becomes your highest priority - more important than getting love or avoiding pain or feeling safe - you are on the spiritual path. Anything less than this means that your wounded self is in charge wanting to use spirituality as a form of control. The wounded self can get very subtle with this, convincing you that all your prayer, meditation, reading, going to seminars, or learning about metaphysical things is the spiritual path, but without learning about loving yourself and others as the motivation behind all these endeavors, they become just another form of control.
Be Honest With Yourself…
Think honestly about yourself for a moment. How often in a day do you consciously choose to learn about what is loving to yourself and others? How often does being loving and learning about what is loving govern your actions? How often are your choices with yourself and in interaction with others being consciously directed by love, rather than by trying to get love and approval, or avoid pain?
Consciously practicing Inner Bonding is a profound path to gradually, day by day, becoming more aware of your intent. We cannot choose love as our highest priority if we are not conscious that we even have a choice. Becoming conscious of choosing love as your highest priority takes a devotion to staying in Step One of Inner Bonding - staying present in your body, becoming aware of your feelings, and wanting responsibility for them. The rest of the process follows from this, but if your intent is to get love, avoid pain and avoid responsibility for your feelings, then you will not even be able to be in Step One.
Start today to be on a true spiritual path of love, with practicing Step One of Inner Bonding.
Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."
Join IBVillage to connect with others and receive compassionate help and support for learning to love yourself.
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Notice what opens your heart and soul. Nature, your garden, your child, your pet? Your grandchild, your creativity, music, art, laughter? Walking, running, sharing, loving? Sexuality, sensuality, affection, holding? What melts the wall, enlivens your being, tickles your tummy, and fills your heart? Notice, and make time for that which opens your being.
By Dr. Margaret Paul