Being a Spiritual Seeker Can Be Both a Sign of Weakness and Strength

Being a Spiritual Seeker Can Be Both a Sign of Weakness and Strength September 5, 2022

People seek for different reasons. Some are lost. Others are explorers. The reason motivates the search, which is why we call it a motive.

I have been a spiritual seeker for most of my life. Sometimes I’ve been lost. Other times I’ve been exploring. The interesting thing is that I’ve only been able to see the difference clearly in hindsight. When in the middle of searching, my reasons aren’t always known to me. Having met many seekers on my journey, I can safely say that the same goes for most.

Why Is It Important to Know?

The title of this article explains why it is important to know the difference.

One reason for seeking is based on weakness. I lack something, I am lost, I am unsure, and I seek help. When in this state, I feel despair and am willing to try nearly anything to find relief.

The other reason is based on strength. I have what I need, yet I am also open to widening my horizons. I am confident and willing to explore.

Knowing which one is spurring me onward is imperative.

If weakness is my motive, I may need to borrow judgment, rely on help from trustworthy people and be aware of scammers who are more than willing to take advantage of my pain. But if strength is the undercurrent that pulls my search in a spiritual direction, I can be more self-reliant and discerning.

The Urgency of Weakness

There is tremendous urgency when people are in a state of weakness. They need relief now. This creates a rare spiritual opening. When in pain, people are more receptive than ever, which means that their spiritual growth can be accelerated if they get good advice.

Prepare

Hard fact: Everyone goes through periods of weakness in life. Life teaches lessons. At one point or another, everyone faces financial hardships, sickness, the loss of loved ones and some sort of crisis of faith.

Knowing and accepting that we will likely experience more than one calamity in our lifetime, we would be wise to prepare. We can do this by exploring spiritual ideas that resonate with us when we are feeling well, finding trusted sources, and surrounding ourselves with honorable people who will steer us right when the moment arises.

Those who don’t prepare spiritually will find themselves scrambling when tragedy strikes. I’ve seen several well-educated rational people go off the rails under duress and engage in all kinds of practices that they would never have considered under normal circumstances.

The Openness of Strength

A state of spiritual strength and confidence will create a different kind of seeking mentality. The search becomes its own reward. The thrill is in exploring, widening horizons, adding knowledge, trying new experiences and entertaining a variety of perspectives. People who choose this way of seeking approach life with openness and curiosity. They are driven by an inner need to explore rather than fear of losing.

Sometimes It’s Both

Another complication to consider: Both can spur us on at the same time. For instance, traumatic childhood issues can cause someone to seek from a position of weakness, while periodic experiences of light and love in meditation make them feel like their search is driven from a place of strength. It’s not always simple to figure out what is driving the search.

Which Mode of Seeking is Better?

You’d think that the answer to this question would be obvious. Of course, it is better to seek from a position of strength, right? The answer is: It’s complicated.

As is often the case with the human psyche, negative emotions spur people to action more urgently than positive ones. Plus, a person experiencing a crisis will be as open as they ever are in life.

This means that seeking from weakness can be life-changing in a good way; if people get the proper guidance.

Sadly, for those who get taken advantage of, it can be life-crushing.

Knowing = Discernment

I’ve learned that knowing my reasons helps me be more discerning.

If weakness is the driver, I seek help from trusted advisors.

If strength urges me to explore, I follow that desire with confidence.

Gudjon Bergmann
Author and Mindfulness Teacher
Amazon Author Profile

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Picture: CC0 License

 


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