Validating Spiritual Progress
“Everyone and every situation in the world needs your understanding, not your criticism.“
– Jon Schreiber
Is this a correct direction? What assures me this is true (or not true)? What ways do I have of validating spiritual progress?
Validating Spiritual Progress – How Do You Know?
Years ago, when I was taking flying lessons, my instructor asked me if I thought I was going to heaven when I died. I liked this guy a lot and thought this was a great question.
Until I realized his pastor had put him up to it. Turns out he was only trying to proselytize his evangelical religion.
But the experience left an important question in my head all of these years. How do I know if I’m heading in the right directions when it comes to the core of who I am. What is the bedrock on which I can assay any progress. Or digression?
I was pretty certain my flight instructor’s pastor’s answer wasn’t right for me. I couldn’t find my answers in the bible.
But my last blog post started an answer. More importantly, so did the response. My favorite example of responses was from someone I have come to respect and like a lot in the knitting community, was a simple message:
“I really really appreciated your latest blog post about being nice.”
I realized that this commenter demonstrated exactly what I was talking about. By encouraging behavior they wanted to see instead of critiquing behavior that didn’t, it was incredibly affirming.
My trusted spiritual advisor said something that made everything fall into place for me.
“When you do something that creates more harmony, you’re going in the right direction.”
This seemed so simple and obvious once he said it. But it still gave me a way of validating progress that I hadn’t been doing (at least consciously) until he said it. In conjunction with friends’ feedback, this advice seemed like a huge leap in the direction of waking up. In the grand scheme of things, it’s an infinitesimally small “leap” forward. But comparatively, it seemed huge.
Thank you to all who reacted to “being nice.” It helped move in in the direction of being a better human.
I finished up another infinity scarf.
Except for a few ends that still need weaving in. While I was on the sock knitting machine, I decided to finally finish the second green sock.
The second sock wasn’t quite as flawless as the first. So, I’m doing some post-cranking fixes to a couple of dropped stitches. They should be ready in time for St. Patrick’s Day. I took them for a test-spin.
Finally, I made some additional progress on the “Splongs.”
I added a few inches to the left leg, added the ribbed edging and even made some progress on the right leg.