7. Less fear
All fear circles around the drain of extinction. I fear that my being is going to be annihilated. I fear that something is going to be taken from me that I cannot afford to surrender without losing myself.
As I awaken to the deep love that abides at the heart of my being, I begin to know that there is nothing that can destroy the love that resides within all of creation. This is why John wrote in his first letter,
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. (I John 4:18)
While everything is impermanent on the surface, in the depths of life dwells a love that is the enduring power of the universe. Love sustains the creation which Love created.
I am always free to love. I can always choose to step into the strong stream of love. The love that is my true nature is stronger and more real than anything in the heavens or on earth that I might ever fear.
This is why, despite the hardships and struggles of his life, Paul could boldly declare,
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-40)
The goal of the spiritual life is to stay conscious of this deep stream of love and to live responsively to the moving of love in my life.
8. Greater honesty
As I open to the reality of my life circumstances and move away from judgement, it becomes possible for me to live more honestly. As I am willing to see myself more truly and refuse to inflict judgment upon myself or others, I can afford to be more fully seen.
As I come to experience that there is that within me which is greater and more real than all my failures, I am less frightened by my frailty and feel less need to hide.
you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. (John 8:32)
Spirituality is fundamentally about living in the truth, being willing to see my true nature and my failure to live fully by the deepest and richest reality of my life. To live the spiritual life is to seek truth recognizing that the path to freedom lies always along the way of truth.
9. Deeper authenticity
A spiritual life is a deeply authentic life. Spirituality that seeks to escape from the reality of the human condition, is just one more anesthetic. True spirituality is never escapist or dishonest. It refuses all lies and seeks only to live in the truth because truth is true.
Frequently in the Gospels it is stated that Jesus taught as
one having authority. (Matthew 7:29)
In English, authority and authenticity share the same root. Both words derive etymologically from the conjunction of two Greek words autos “self” and hentes “being”. You will be authentic and have authority when you derive your sense of self from your “being” rather than from your “doing”.
As my sense of self shifts away from what I may have accomplished in the past or anything I do in the present, I will live more naturally and authentically.
10. An increase of compassion
To have compassion is to be willing to enter deeply into the life of another person.
Compassion requires the strength to know that there is nothing in your life that can threaten my security. Fear is the enemy of compassion.
The more I open to the deep reality of love that flows at the heart of all creation, the less I feel threatened by the unknown. As I connect with the deep love that is the true nature of all existence, compassion becomes instinctive; it is not forced; it does not require the exertion of self-will or self-discipline. As I do my own inner spiritual work, compassion becomes an authentic expression of my deepening connection with my true nature.