I normally don’t like using cliche’s especially those that hint at the Biblical. However this does not mean that cliche’s do not have some truth inside of them. Many of us have been tested and many of us will be tested again. Throughout our lifetimes “tests,” will attack our faith, our love, even our reality, and some of us will ask the question, “Why am I, being tested and then tested again?” For myself, and that is the only reality that I can truly speak to, I can say that I have been tested. I can also say that to compare and contrast my “testing,” to anyone else is futile. In our lives we will always find and know someone that has had it better than us and someone that is experiencing much worse. Faith I can attest is the only answer to the question of life’s test. Maintaining faith, that my relations is the question of our life’s quest.
There is one thing that all spiritual practices have in common in order for their practitioners to find spiritual solace, and that is to build and maintain a foundation of faith. If you pray before you go to sleep or if you meditate you are practicing an “art” of faith. When you practice faith there doesn’t have to be a goal for yourself, meaning you can pray for others or mediate just to clear your mind. There is no need for spiritual attachments to become spiritual jails. The absolute worse place to be “tested,” is in a spiritual jail and many times out of most it is a jail of our own making. Where we are the judge, warden, and jail keeper in our own incarceration. Spiritually that is, and by default we extend our sentences out of guilt, fear, and indecisiveness. Yet if we truly look no one is causing experiences but ourselves.
You may ask how will I know I’m on the right path faithfully spiritually? Bad things will happen, I know this sounds counter intuitive but if you look at spiritual practitioners of the past more often than not they had to shed their secular skin in order to be their spiritual selves. If and when one makes the choice to sustain their faith on their own the “coincidence,” of calamity will overwhelm them. I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve return to the spiritual path and then at the same time had to get a tooth pulled or my bike stolen. This means that as you chose your “spiritual” path there will be “circumstances” that will test you. And you reaction to them will either be written on your gut or you will take that experience to harden you spiritual resolve. Of course there are worse things that can happen and I have had worse things happen to me, strangely enough it is the little things that will break you. I am not saying this as a novice, I have been tested so I am willing to testify. Take this as it is. Please allow me to continue, it is easy to have a group of people around you that have the same belief as you, it is easy to be in the presence of others who commune with you in faith. The hardest thing is to walk out into the wilderness or into your closet and cultivate your faith on your own. And if you feel that you have been tested more than most but still want to help others more that most, I understand. However in solitary is where you must begin. Now are we all cut out for this, of course not, however if you are reading this, I am writing this yes for myself but more importantly for you. You like I may have found the delusions of self indulgence too much to bear, and found spiritual the commitment of yourself and others lacking. Rule number one, stop comparing and contrasting yourself to any other experience, this is yours to have and yours to gain. And what must you have or gain, faith in yourself. Chances are you may feel more alone with others, compared to the times you do by yourself, this is a true indication that you must pray, meditate, contemplate alone. And if by doing so let us say you lose the anxiety and depression that grips you as I have for the moment. (You must practice always, spiritually to maintain your place in grace.) And there is no one to see and acknowledge it, and you want someone to do so then you must go back pray some more, contemplate some more, meditate some more. To testify truthfully doesn’t require recognition or an audience, or that you even open up your mouth. It requires personal recognition that may or may not be seen but known by you the spiritual practitioner. However, and this is important, if when asked you must share, you must give, that is a continuation of your process. So here I am sharing and yes testifying. Have faith in yourself, be with yourself meditate, pray, and contemplate for as long as it takes for as often as you can. By doing so you will be able to give what you need and receive in kind.