"Psychology can save you from the unconscious, but life must then save you from psychology", this was a slogan my mentor shared with me during the beginning days of our work together. Being a person that was absolutely enchanted by the next piece of psychology or philosophy that would help me explain life, this quote seemed to be going against what I wanted to achieve. I figured the more psychology, philosophy and spiritual fodder I understood, the better life would become.
I'm one of those people who find something they enjoy and will go all in. Tripping along inside my life, I finally bumped into a brand of spirituality that fancied my yearnings to know more about the truth of my life. In this excitement, I grabbed my spiritual snorkel and dove into psychology, philosophy and spiritual concepts like a shark in a feeding frenzy. With each new concept I gobbled up, the more spiritual I felt myself becoming. I learned a myriad of psychological tools and began the discovery of so much of my behavior that was fully hidden from plain view. This "success" increased my insatiable quest for more.
I would walk away from spiritual conversations knowing I was "gaining" more and more spirituality. The only thing I didn't have was the t-shirt that should have read, "I'm probably more spiritual than you". If I wasn't actually engaging in spiritual one-upmanship, I was walking away from spiritual conversations patting myself on the back and proclaiming another win, quietly condescending the loser.
Somewhere along the way I began to notice how my actions were in opposition to what I wanted to accomplish. Another recognition in a way that my inner world was not in alignment with how I operated in the outer world. I found myself living in the mush and unsavory stench of living in my own irony.
Having the notion of becoming more spiritual, led me into working to make superficial prettier. Thankfully, some day along my path, humility kicked in and revealed that there is a depth to life I had continued to avoid. The more I made my inner world congruent with my outer world, more sparkly magic began to appear. The idea of authenticity no longer became a slogan, but rather destination.
In my quest to become more spiritual, I lost track of the fact that I can't become more spiritual, I am spirit. The collection of spiritual concepts ironically made me live with less spirit.