What’s changing in your life?
I am always astonished at the major transitions people are going through. Illness. Divorce. Caregiving. Untold deaths and losses.
A great many people are carrying around heavy burdens and living with frightening uncertainty.
I hear their stories every time I speak about Hell in the Hallway, Light at the Door, my book about the spiritual path through change and transition.
The people who talk to me are looking for spiritual answers. Sure, they want to make their discomfort go away quickly and return to equilibrium, but they are willing to see their life’s difficulties as an opportunity for growth and learning.
Trouble is, many of them have spent years reading books, hearing speakers and going to workshops about basic spiritual teachings. Now they’re looking for the graduate course.
They want something new, some advanced spiritual laws that will solve their problems. Right now.
Sorry. There just aren’t any.
I have made the same mistake, thinking I had mastered the spiritual basics. I’d dust off my hands and declare I was ready to move on to more challenging ideas. What’s next?
Nothing. I’m convinced there simply aren’t any advanced spiritual laws.
Life provides the graduate course. But spiritual principles will always be simple, which is not to say easy, and will need to be used in each new circumstance.
Picture an elaborate math formula that covers several chalkboards. The genius behind it learned long ago to add, subtract, multiply and divide. Now she’s only applying the same simple principles to complicated problems.
That’s what we do with spiritual laws. We use the basics again and again.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
So what are spiritual principles or laws? And is there a difference in spiritual principles and spiritual tools? You hear both terms a lot.
I believe principles and tools are different, and both are important to understand when you’re going through a major change.
Here are my definitions:
Principles are true for everyone, all the time, whether they know it or not. They are laws we live by. In the spiritual realm, the laws I work with are the creative power of my thoughts, the divine within and the unwavering presence of God. They never change.
Tools are how we implement those laws, such as prayer, meditation, forgiveness and affirmations. They are things we do, ways to apply the laws to specific situations.
It’s the same way an airliner implements the laws of physics. The airliner is a vehicle or tool to get you from point A to point B. But the laws of physics also can be used to build a skyscraper, throw a football or stop your car at a red light. You just apply the basics in each new circumstance.
WEATHERING THE STORMS
That means whenever you are going through a major change in your life, the spiritual work will be the same no matter what’s happening. Different people have different problems, certainly, but the principles to rely on are the same.
Of course, a few people go to great lengths to explain how their circumstances are unique and different and can’t possibly be solved by a batch of spiritual laws they can count on one hand.
I try not to argue with them. Maybe God will create some new laws especially for them. Good luck with that.
Even without new laws, you might discover new tools that are useful.
Find a few people who have weathered the storms of life in a way you admire and ask about the spiritual elements of their journey.
I suspect their answers will be pretty simple: acceptance, surrender, prayer, forgiveness, trusting a higher power by any name.
They didn’t discover new or advanced spiritual laws. They just used the tools they had to put principles into practice.
Again, here’s what I mean by basic principles:
- You are divine, an expression of the Infinite on the earth.
- Your thoughts create your experience, which gives you untapped power and responsibility for your own life.
- You are not alone. What we call God is in every situation, in every person, in every event, whether or not we can see or feel it.
Principles are unchanging and universal.
Then what are tools? They are the ways we make use of spiritual laws.
And the best vehicle we have for that is truly simple: It’s each other.
We all go through major changes in life. We can support each other with our experience, strength and hope. And in so doing, we will shine divine light on the earth.
PS – If you’re interested in more about spiritual laws, you might look at my earlier book called The Five Principles: A Guide to Practical Spirituality. There’s also more on my website, EllenDebenport.com.
I’d love to hear how you have used spiritual laws in the major changes of your life. Scroll down a bit to the comment section.