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June 6, 2017

The Importance of Consistency on the Spiritual Path.

I was quite inconsistent when I started walking down the spiritual path.

I stopped my practice whenever I experienced the benefits of meditation. However, I only enjoyed the good results for a short while. It wasn’t long before I fell back into the old habits of my mind.

When I felt like the results were about to fade away, I got back to my spiritual practice. It was a cycle in which I got stuck for many years. At some point, I thought that this whole spirituality thing was just not for me.

I perceived the spiritual path as a destination. In the past, I only practiced so I could get somewhere. I thought that experiencing a few positive changes within me was enough, and this is why I dropped my practice every time I felt good.

I approached the spiritual path as a means to an end. And generally, anything that we do as a means to an end, we naturally drop it when we reach that end.

It took me years to realize that my mistake was my lack of consistency. The on-and-off relationship I had with spirituality was built on the wrong foundation. Everyone practices the spiritual path differently. Some people do meditation or yoga, others experience it through religion or through direct personal experiences. Consistency is essential, no matter which way we tap into our spiritual essence.

The mind is a complicated instrument—changing its habits requires abundant years of practice. To tame our minds, to change our hideous habits, and truly be liberated, we must always practice. And in order to keep going and not to stop practicing, we shouldn’t look at the spiritual path as simply another destination or goal.

The spiritual path is a journey, and every minute along the way is the destination. We are prone to see tangible results after a few practices, but it doesn’t mean that’s enough. We have to take into account that we’re working on a being who’s been operating in a certain way since birth. It’s akin to training a dog at an old age—the older the dog is, the harder it is to break its habits.

I’m convinced that it all boils down to how we perceive our spiritual journey. If it’s of major importance to us, then we will certainly dedicate more time for it. The truth is, I took my spiritual journey for granted during the first years of practicing. It was important to me, but it wasn’t important enough. Only when I realized how imperative spirituality is for my personal growth did I stop taking it for granted. I became serious in my practice when I learned that without spirituality, I am only a lost being who’s a slave to her mind.

Having said that, our patience and willingness to remain on the spiritual path emanates from our direct experience. Anyone who has truly enjoyed the ripened fruits of tapping into their spiritual essence wouldn’t drop their practice.

Nonetheless, we must know that the spiritual practice is not like any other practice in our life. It’s not a class we attend for a few hours or a book that we read and throw on the shelf once we finish it. We are spiritual beings; thus, spirituality is our very essence. It’s the kernel of everything that we do. Consequently, we don’t drop the practice, we only tap in to it and develop it.

~

Author: Elyane Youssef
Image: Unsplash

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

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