Human life is about relationships. The spiritual growth that you achieve comes as a result of your growth in your relationships. There is little growth of the kind that is essential to your soul that takes place when everyone is in full agreement with everyone, for there is no need to reach out to try to understand. There is no effort expended to affirm. There is no energy required to act compassionately.
Growth of the spirit comes through your relationships. You grow in your relationship to yourself. You grow in your sense of self-respect. You grow in your relationship to others. You grow in your ability to affirm. This is why you are given human life. There are other life-forms occupied by spirit, but those forms are the halls of a different kind of learning. The learning that is needed is not the kind achieved within the human experience. You are given your life because of the need to grow through that experience.
Conflict is never pleasant, and it is because of that that learning takes place. You do not become stronger sitting in a chair. You become stronger through the use of muscles in activity, in meeting resistance, be it gravity or some other kind. It is in engaging that resistance that you become physically stronger, and it is likewise in engaging resistance in your relationships that you become spiritually stronger.
Life is not for the faint-hearted. Life is to be grasped and embraced “warts and all,” as you would say. Life is not intended or designed to be free and easy, but when you meet challenges along the way, the growth is achieved by their encounter, not by their avoidance. So you must welcome conflict, not because of its comfort but because of its nourishment.
You are nourished by all that surrounds you. You are nourished by humankind. You are nourished by nature. Even when nature threatens and destroys, there is a nourishment that nevertheless takes place. You are nourished by the air you breathe, by the impurities that are contained within. This nourishment is the foundation for growth. It does not mean all is pleasant or enjoyable. It doesn’t mean that all nourishment is easily seen as being helpful. You are nourished through your human experience. This nourishment can only be recognized from the perspective of spirit. The growth in the forest continues regardless of a tree falling or a branch breaking. The growth nevertheless proceeds.
Your life therefore grows and expands even at times when you feel defeated or threatened. You grow in illness as well as health. You grow through the challenge, for growth is the natural state of spirit. Spirit never withers. It is never defeated. It is never diminished. It grows ravenously or it grows slowly, but it always grows.
There is nothing in your life that prevents the spirit from this growth, and yet all in your life contains what is needed to nurture that growth, to give it strength and a resilience and a vision and illumination. Your lives are a gift to each other, but they are gifts to you as individuals. You must expend energy in your desire to formulate the positive and beneficial relationship with yourself.
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