Understanding why personal power is important to your spiritual development begins with understanding that personal development and spiritual development are interdependent, mutualistic processes. The idea that each of these processes is separate and strictly secular/spiritual is a misconception that will prevent us from truly claiming our personal power.
Personal development resources take many forms, but they often manifest on one of two paths: a spiritual path or a secular path. In my experience, people in need (or in hope) of developing themselves turn to their spirituality or they turn to therapy. Each of these paths boasts many strengths, and some shortcomings. Neither is inherently “better” than the other, but both tend to leave out some of the valuable components of the other.
the importance of each path
Having a toolkit of personal development skills will help you go deeper in your spirituality. Likewise, your spirituality will help keep you grounded and centered as you work your way through personal development practices. Each of these paths offers value that will enable you to reach a level of personal clarity beyond what can be found by just pursuing a single path alone.
why personal power is important to our spiritual development
In the same way that spiritual development provides a firm foundation from which to begin personal development, personal development is part of the essential groundwork that spiritual development is built on. Our personal power, or our empowerment, is a critical component of our spiritual development. Here is why.
Spiritual Development Demands Humility: The more that we grow in our spiritual power, the greater the problems that can be created by our unchecked egoic needs. Because of this it is essential that we are humble and true.
“Please let me say it loud and clear, the more you powerful are, the more your actions will have impact on people. The more responsible you are to act humbly. If you don’t your power will ruin you and you will ruin the other.” — Pope Francis
Without a sense of personal power, one is subject to the whims of the ego. One uses power to cover up for their limitations. Personal power is not power over. It is the power of choice and being right-sized. It allows us to know our limitations as well as acknowledge our greatness. It provides the foundation for being humble and therefore worthy of our spiritual development.
Spiritual Development is Challenging. There is not a single person on a spiritual path who goes untested. The tests, both successfully met and not, are means by which wisdom, impact, and spiritual capacity are gained, much more so than the peak experiences and other epiphanies we might be lucky to have. Each test that comes our way is an opportunity to learn and to grow by recognizing our role in its creation.
“Swami Veda says that whenever he gets sick first he thanks the Lord himself that he has the opportunity to close himself and he goes into silence. So each time he has pain he just closes his eyes and he thanks that now I have an opportunity to look within more.” — Pandit Hari Shankar Dabral
Personal Power helps us to be strong enough to ask the important question, how have I helped to create this problem? Without a toolkit of skills developed in our personal development work, we are unable to do this in a healthy way. We may blame the other party or situation or we blame ourselves when we ask the question. Either way, our spiritual development is curtailed.
Spiritual Development Requires Effort. To develop ourselves spiritually, we need to maintain continued focus and applied effort. There are no spiritual gains made by sloth or inactivity. Our outcomes are the direct result of the effort that we put in. This continued effort is the act of devotion. Devotion yields powerful results on our spiritual journey.
“That’s exactly it. True devotion only appears when we have just one desire and feel that we will die if we cannot realize that desire.” — Paulo Coelho
Without developing ourselves personally, we are unable to act from our adult self on a consistent and regular basis. This inability gets in the way of any sustained effort on our part. The ramifications of being unable to sustain our efforts is larger or smaller based on the place we are in our spiritual development. Some people have spiritual awakenings that are not in balance with their personal development, throwing them into experiences that challenge their mental health.
Personal development and spiritual development have many areas of overlap. However, they also provide some unique skills, techniques and insights that support us in becoming our full self. I encourage you to dive into both!—
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