“An unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates
Plants normally grow given water, sun, and healthy genetics. This Christmas tree from 2013 looked like this:
It was barely one foot tall. I planted that tree in a pot and now it has grown to over three feet tall.
There is growth which is physical as this tree, and there is growth which is spiritual.
A three-year old girl has certain behavior, and she has her own spirit.
A thirteen year old girl has different behavior and areas of growth both physically and spiritually.
Spiritual growth requires behavioral changes from most of us and that included me. This kind of growth is about striving to become mature and responsible for my life, and not blaming others; for example: learning the things that trigger me, changing old habits that don’t work for me, making new choices, and letting go of the past. However, first, I have had to learn what that past was for me to grow spiritually. Facing my past has required courage and a willingness to be vulnerable. In a ongoing process, I am becoming freer and less encumbered by my past.
“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana
This quote has often been used when speaking about human history, where it is very true. I find it has also been absolutely true about my life before I sought deep personal spiritual growth.
Another thing spiritual growth requires is that we NOT just do it alone. I have reached out for help from various groups and people. We are not weak when we ask for help; we are courageous and honest about what we need, as are all people who have done the same. This, to me, is the best way to heal the planet. One person at a time.
This TED talk by Matthiew Richard, a Buddhist monk and scientist explains a way towards spiritual growth.