The Challenges Explained

Whatever qualities or attributes we possess were given to us. They were not our doing. We didn't create our intelligence, facility with languages, artistic skills, or ability to deal well with people. These are, quite literally, gifts. As we develop spiritually, we increase our ability to help or heal others. We can become better vehicles for healing or helping, but we are not the originators of that energy. Part of the purpose of spiritual development is to help others, but that is not a way or an excuse for making ourselves more important or powerful. It is quite the contrary. Arrogance will only get in the way of our being truly useful and of our spiritual progress. We are working to make the ego smaller, not larger. It is our Inner Self which receives guidance from the spiritual source. To receive that guidance, the ego must be quiet and must surrender its dominance. We should not be arrogant about any new-found wisdom or ability. We should be grateful for the gifts and use them well.

Spiritual development takes a very long time and is a slow and painstaking process. It is work that does not end. There is no 'getting there.' There is only more insight, and the reward is more work. So patience is essential. We want to meditate better, to feel more, to get a better handle on our lives. But spiritual growth is a natural process, and it can't be rushed. Impatience merely hampers our progress. It is as inappropriate as standing in your garden screaming at a seedling to grow faster, to hurry up and bloom. It just does not work for either plants or humans.