When you are on the path to a more spiritual you, we tend to approach it like everything else in life. We want results! If we don’t see measurable gains, we feel like we have failed. However, this is somewhat counterintuitive of trying to live more mindfully. Recently, I had an experience that helped me celebrate one of those tiny spiritual victories. It illustrated that although I may not see a lot of growth where I want to, I am changing and moving along a positive path.
I live next door to my best friend. I know him better than anyone else, and he knows me just as well. The other day my daughter texted me. She was putting something together and got a part stuck. She was distraught, and my immediate response was to offer up our help getting it unstuck.
That morning when my friend awoke and called to say hi, I jumped into a discussion about the problem and asked if he would drive over to her house later with me to fix it. I could tell he wasn’t in a great mood, and he really didn’t want to — he responded in a hesitant, non-committal way when he was usually quick to help with whatever I needed.
I quickly backed off, but I instantly felt a rush of (resentment, anger, disappointment, etc.). I slowed my breathing and noticed I was feeling all of these emotions at once. My face even got hot and I am sure it turned red.
We had plans to go somewhere that morning, and I wanted badly to cancel. I felt like a stubborn child digging their heels in. All of this took place inside my mind within seconds. I did not outwardly say anything or show my feelings to him. Somehow, I stayed on track and continued with the morning putting aside that instant flash of negative emotions.
I was waiting in the car for my friend while he grabbed a coffee at the local shop, and suddenly a question formed inside my mind “what could I have done differently, so this turned out better?” That blew me away. It came from beyond me (God/The Universe/Spirit), and suddenly I knew the answer. When my friend wakes up, he is slow to get going and hates anyone putting any pressure on him before he has his coffee and gets warmed up. I had jumped the gun in my desire to help my daughter and timed it all wrong. I knew without a doubt that if I had waited until the afternoon when he was fully awake and the day was underway, if I had asked, he would have said yes without hesitation. When he got back to the car I asked if that was true and he confirmed it was.
Spiritual Progress Realized
It was then that I saw real spiritual progress in myself. That pause and that taking the time to let my spirit guide me to the truth was a wonderful and enlightening experience. I was so happy that I took responsibility for how I could have handled it rather than put all the blame on him, which can be my default reaction sometimes. Witnessing that growth and seeing in myself the ability to allow space to process things differently colored my whole day and made it better. All my daily meditations are paying off in little ways, even if I don’t always notice them.
Although I still have many areas where I would like to see more progress, I am choosing to celebrate these tiny spiritual victories because they are important and part of my overall spiritual growth.
When you feel discouraged that you may not be improving, look harder. Take the time to bask in these tiny little moments, which are the threads that make up the fabric of our lives. It will do you more good to celebrate these small spiritual victories than the experience itself. Positive reinforcement breeds more progress.