"Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm, and harmony."
It's easy for spiritual seekers in contemporary Western society to get caught up in the quest for peak experiences. It may begin with the soul's ignition - that moment when we hear the one truth that resonates so strongly it sets us upon a path of discovery and our lives are forever changed.
I remember when it happened to me. How exciting it was to receive amazing insights during meditation, to marvel at the synchronicities and signs that would show up in everyday life, to feel how good it feels when intuition kicks into a higher gear.
And I was sooooo fortunate to have a wonderful teacher and mentor when I started my spiritual journey in the 1990s: my mother. Not only was she on a similar path to me, she was much further along and generously paved the way. By the time I was ready to really explore, she was an ordained minister, certified clairvoyant medium and certified spiritual healer, well equipped to provide loving, practical guidance when I needed it. Because the spiritual path can get precarious at times....
The precarious path
What we don't realize is that our souls have another purpose: our Higher Souls want to grow and heal and evolve spiritually. So as we learn and apply and share this gift, we will experience opportunity after opportunity to let go of our limiting beliefs, to enhance our self-esteem, to forgive our parents or first loves or terrible bosses, to clarify our intentions and test our affirmations.
Let me give an example: meditation. As we explore and practice the various forms, we learn first-hand the myriad benefits. We may feel blissful during meditation and afterwards, we even notice that we are more creative, better able to focus, and less affected by external stressors. Yet even with a daily meditation practice, we still say unkind things, get angry at other drivers, judge neighbors, lose our tempers, overindulge in guilty pleasures, steal ideas, feel superior to people, look the other way, wake up in a bad mood, have anxiety attacks - I could go on and on.
It gets worse
And why would our souls want us to experience amplification of our vices as well as our virtues? Because as we experience these unpleasant situations, we will eventually be motivated enough to do the inner work. Face our fears. Let go of resistance. Resolve issues. Heal pain. Make things right. Rise to the challenge. Reach our highest potential.
For millennia, people on the spiritual path lived in monasteries, where they received extensive training and where their elders could oversee their progress and provide counsel. But modern Westerners don't have that luxury, especially if their interests lie in metaphysical studies.
This is why it is so important to build a strong support system, and to engage with trained spiritual mentors - people who have walked the path ahead of you and have weathered their own lessons and crises. You simply cannot get this support with an occasional workshop, reading, or healing session.