The Four Stages of Spiritual Growth
I have recently been talking with people about the path of spiritual growth. You see there are four distinct stages that I have identified so far.
- Changing your habits or actions
- Changing your beliefs or eliminating your stories
- Shifting your identity or your fundamental belief in who you are
- Challenging the underlying assumptions on which you base your day to day existence
Each stage of this work is more complex and more subtle than the previous. And each requires its own new skill to navigate the waters.
The Skills You MUST Develop
- With changing habits you learn discipline and dedication.
- When changing beliefs you learn to let go of the need to be right.
- Changing your identity requires giving up control.
- And changing your assumptions requires that you let go of your belief in “reality” to instead embrace the potentiality of the unknown.
In all cases, you must learn to befriend discomfort
because if you run from it, no change will ever occur.
Surrender is probably the single hardest part of the spiritual growth process. It’s hard because it requires a relinquishing of choice and an acceptance of what is. It is about putting down the paddle and letting the current take us where it wants to go. We learn it in stages. Depending on your personal issues, these stages come in different orders but we must eventually learn them all.
- Surrender to Another
- Surrender to A Cause Greater Than Ourselves
- Surrender to What Is
- Surrender to Growth and Change
- Surrender to The Divine
- Surrender to The Self
- Surrender to Love
The Definition of Surrender
Many people think of surrender as an act of giving up, but it’s not. It’s an act of faith. It is a letting go and trusting that the universe, the situation, the other person, the cause, etc. will take you where you need to go. Surrender does not happen without trust. If you are having a hard time surrendering ask yourself where your trust is challenged and address that.
What stage have you reached in your journey? What surrenders have you mastered?