Evolution is commonly described as a process of continuous change from a lower to a higher state. In human evolution it is often the genetic stages of change that are commonly thought of, such as the physical development from primitive to modern man. Perhaps our spiritual and intellectual evolution are also tied to the forward and ever changing progress of humanity as we journey from what we once were to what we will become. Most religious and spiritual ideals center on the belief of living our lives in a manner that allows us, on death, to transcend from the physical form to the ethereal. Perhaps like Humanity’s genetic and intellectual development, our spiritual journey has also been an evolutionary process of several thousand years, a progression of lessons leading to the present day. As our genetic progress changes the physical body, and the sciences change mankind’s perceptions and understandings, so should our personal spirituality develop as well.
Some of the key principals that have helped me grow and become the individual I am today can be simple in their concept, but nearly impossible in their execution. To look deeply within ourselves with honesty, and face the best and worst aspects of one’s self is never an easy endeavor.
1. Be Honest; only when you can be completely truthful with yourself can you remove obstacles from your Future Path. We often create false memories of experiences to justify actions or mask emotions. We may also re-arrange the events and experiences of our history to justify or avoid present day moral conflicts. Take responsibility for yourself in both thought and action. Accept that no one is perfect and that no person is always right or justified in the choices of their past. Eliminate the walls between the truth and the lies you can create to protect yourself from the emotions you fear to examine. Break down the barriers that block you from who you truly are.
2. Forgive yourself; allow the failures of your past to be the lessons which build your future. Learn from poor choices, allow yourself to let go of the things you cannot change. Remove the burden of guilt, regret and missed opportunities, by forgiving yourself for not meeting your own expectations. When you hold on to the mistakes and poor judgments of your past, you add obstacles to your future journey, and a larger load of unresolved emotions to the weight you bear. Clear away the inner conflicts of your history and approach the future without the prejudices and burdens that your life experiences have caused.
3. Evaluate Often; be willing to adapt and adjust to the continually changing landscape of life. As you grow, your perspectives and expectations will alter. A frequent assessment of where you stand with yourself makes it much easier to determine the next step in becoming who you wish to be. Take every opportunity to re-center yourself on your goals and the path ahead of you. The better you know who you are, the more successful you will be in achieving positive growth.
4. Strive to improve; make a true and honest effort to grow and evolve. The reason for personal development is to become a greater you tomorrow than you are today. Be open to new ideas and concepts, you can spend a great amount of time and effort maintaining outdated ideas. Evolution itself means change in a positive manner, and to effect growth you must be open to accept and adapt to new information. Make a sincere commitment and take personal action in following a course that leads to greater you.
5. Move on; build on both the positive and negative experiences that will occur in your journey forward. Allow every moment to be a chance to make positive change in you. You can make the decision, at any moment in your life, to be a greater and better Human in your future than you have been in your past. Leave your history behind and move on in your journey forward. Continue striving to become the Human you aspire to be.
After many years of applying this process again and again, constantly placing the burden of accountability and responsibility upon my own shoulders for the direction of my life, I had an epiphany. In my attempt to simply be a better individual and live up to my own personal expectations and truth, I accidentally opened a doorway that changed everything I thought I knew or believed. I now have a peace and happiness in my life that I have never known before. Because of my personal revelations, my wife and I now lead our lives by the philosophies and understandings that we gained from this experience.