Sometimes trying to be spiritual holds us back from actually living the spiritual life we want. In our quest to live such spiritual and good lives, we often avoid the stuff that makes us seem unspiritual, even if that very stuff can move us toward our own spiritual growth.
Spiritual seekers are well aware of the power of intention. We know that it is the thought behind the action that is more important than the action itself. We know if we are motivated by fear and take action based on that fear, the results can be limiting and work against us.
Because of this, we try to align our intentions with that of love, abundance and wholeness. Unfortunately, for many of us, when we go within to explore our motivation, seeking that deeper answer to why we want something, we sometimes end up no deeper than where we began. We might tell ourselves we really want to do or get something in order to help humanity or some other noble reason to make us feel better about ourselves, but in reality, we may simply be motivated by money, greed, fame, power, etc.
Upon discovering this, we then sit around telling ourselves we don’t want to do something unless we are doing it for the right reasons. So we sit, and sit, and sit. Years pass and we’re still sitting, waiting for that right reason to come, that spiritual, pure and noble reason.
While it is noble to want to act out of the right reasons, sometimes the wrong reasons can be just the catalyst we need in order to take action and find the right reasons.
It is through the process of pursuing our destiny that we create our destiny and discover who we truly are and what we’re all about. If we sit around waiting to be noble and whole before we act toward nobility and wholeness, we will never get there.
When I was 19, I dated a recovering alcoholic. He was in Alcoholics Anonymous and suggested that I to go to Al-Anon (for family & friends of alcoholics) to better understand him. He also knew that my father happened to drink quite a bit and thought it would be good for me to understand more about alcoholism in general. For no other reason than to please him and be a “good” girlfriend, I went. I certainly didn’t think I needed to go, not for me, for him, or for my father.
Now we all know that people-pleasing, an ego-driven motive, is not a spiritually good reason to do something. But was it the right reason for me? Yes. And here’s why.
In those meetings, I learned about the true nature of alcoholism. I learned that I am not to blame for my father’s drinking (I didn’t even know I had been blaming myself). I learned that I am worthy, valuable and important. I learned to trust in a Higher Power, have faith that the Universe is in order and most importantly, I learned to trust and believe in myself.
All of this came out of my ego’s desire to please someone else, to make them think that I am a “good” girlfriend and therefore, a “good” person.
Had I refused to go because my intentions weren’t pure and spiritually driven, who knows how many more years I would have lived in blame, shame and denial.
My point is, don’t sit around and wait for the right reasons to motivate you. Sometimes the right reasons come disguised as the wrong reasons. If greed is the only thing that will motivate you to get up off that couch and take action toward your dreams, I say go for it! Use whatever you have currently available to you, right or wrong, good or bad, to start the process.
If you have searched within and cannot seem to find the right reasons, use those “wrong” reasons to catapult you into action toward fulfilling your life’s purpose. Somewhere along the way, the right reasons will emerge and make themselves very clear to you. Often we think we want something for a certain reason and when we get it, or while in the process of getting it, we discover the true meaning behind our motivations. Or our reasons change, our intentions and motivation changes as we learn and grow.
I have a friend who started a business years ago strictly to make money. Her husband left her and she had to find a way to not only support herself, but also to prove to him that she didn’t need him. It was part necessity, part revenge. Actually, to be quite honest, it was mostly revenge. She could have easily taken an office job to support herself since her previous employer before she married had offered her old job back. But she refused. She wanted to make lots of money and become a successful business woman to spite her ex-husband.
Two years into the business, she discovered that she loved working for herself. She loved the independence and satisfaction that creating her own income generated inside her. Her business transformed as she transformed. She found that she loved seeing her customers happy and began focusing a big part of her business toward customer satisfaction. She discovered that she had a lot of strength and courage and didn’t need to depend on anyone else for her well-being.
Motivated initially by revenge, she soon learned that it didn’t matter what he thought. In fact, to this day, she has no idea if he knows about her success and she could care less. She is happy, confident and leads a joyous and full life. She is no longer motivated by revenge, spite or ego-driven desires.
Like me, had she not taken action and instead sat around waiting for more noble intentions, it is uncertain where she would be today.
So go out and live your dreams. Lead your spiritual life by accepting and embracing seemingly unspiritual things. Go after your goals, no matter how unspiritually motivated they may be. If this is the only way to get you moving, it doesn’t matter if you are doing it for money, revenge, greed, power, attention, glory, martyrdom, sainthood or any other ego-driven desire. Along the way, you’ll find your true self and all those “wrong” reasons will fall away and be replaced by more pure and noble reasons. If it takes a wrong reason to turn your life around toward wholeness, it must not be so “wrong” after all.