Growing up in my household, periodically I would, like many teenagers, “forget” to do my chores. My parents would always put me in my place by saying something like, “But you remembered to call your friends, didn’t you? You seem to remember what is important to you!” They were right and it is a lesson I carry with me even today.
As a teenager, doing chores was not important. They were always going to be there and unless I really needed my allowance, which was important, spending time doing chores was not near as important to me as being with my friends. At the time, the choice was simple, time with friends or time without them doing chores. The problem was when my chore was to do laundry and my favorite outfits were not available; then doing laundry was more important than time with friends.
I think my parents were trying to teach me an important lesson. They were trying to teach me that I must start with what needs to be done and then I can move on to what I want to have. Perhaps that is when my mind training began. I had to learn to look for the most loving choices in my life. While I have not excelled in this practice in every aspect of my life, it is a spiritual practice that I devote time to each day. It has helped me to achieve a peace in my life because I always have what I need and allows me to have a greater appreciation in when I also get to experience what I want.
Developing and maintaining any spiritual practice requires devotion. There may be days that we do not want to do something or make time for something, but I have come to realize that taking time each day for my spiritual nourishment is a need. Being devoted to doing my spiritual practices every day is like ensuring I have a healthy breakfast to start my day. I have to maintain this attitude, commitment, and devotion to myself and to the development of a deeper and richer relationship with the Divine.
Recently someone asked me how to be more loving, patient, and kind with themselves and others. When I made a few suggestions, they asked if there was not an easier way as they did not want to have to work at it. Growing and evolving in our spiritual journeys requires discipline and devotion. If we want any aspect of our life to grow and evolve, then we need to be committed to it happening. We have to have the will, the passion, and the belief to make it happen. We have to share with the Divine and not just take from the Divine.
I once heard someone explain the difference between wanting and having. Wanting is not devoted to having and being; wanting is insatiable. Needing is being devoted to ensuring you have what is needed in your life and you are fulfilled. Needing requires commitment and connection, wanting does not.
I have gone through periods in my life when I was not as devoted to developing a relationship with the Divine as I am now. Then, I was always wanting and focused on what I was lacking in my life. When I committed myself to developing a deeper relationship with the Divine and the Divine within myself, I found myself shifting a focus on lack to one of abundance. I still want things now and then, but my needs are always met. I do what I do as part of my daily practices because they are times throughout the day that I am having an intimate conversation with the Divine and the Divine with me. It is my time with the One who never tires of me and of whom I never tire of being with. Is spending time with the Divine important to me? Absolutely. How about you?