So I asked myself… have I really changed? Can people actually change? Is this possible? I know when people hit the ground hard enough, they are forced to change, but do they eventually go back to being their same, old selves? I have been working on self-improvement for several years, but it’s hard for me to tell if I am truly changing. I still find myself having recurring thoughts and habits. At least I am aware of them, and I do feel a little stronger and less of a people pleaser. I guess after all those years of having the same thoughts and habits, that they are so ingrained in me, and that change is a gradual process. It’s sort of like an etched stone when the engraving eventually wears off. I am practicing patience, because I am determined to break free from the grip of the mind.
Are you mentally abusing yourself? The most important thing you can do in life is recondition your mind. Our thoughts being so close to us and the impact and constant pressure from the outside world make it very difficult to alter the process. However, it has to be done in order to live a more peaceful lifestyle. Being aware of your thoughts and entertaining only the positive ones are important parts of the process. When you practice mental discipline and learn to stand back and observe your thoughts, you are making progress in creating a more meaningful life.
Of course, it is easy to dictate what is right and what is wrong; what to do and what not to do; but we must be mindful of our own thoughts and actions. It is a wonderful experience to help other people, but I also believe we have to be cognizant of applying our teachings in our own daily lives. After so many years of habitual thinking, I still catch myself reverting back to the same negative thought patterns. Since I am aware of this now, I am able to quickly dismiss them or change them into positive thoughts. I am a disciplined person, and I am improving my life every day. I am coming to expect this of you…
The essence of who you are is your spirit, soul, inner being, or life-force. Spirituality is when you experience a direct connection of your inner most being with the divine power of the universe.
Organized religion is when you follow someone else’s collection of beliefs, customs, and/or rituals.
You can practice spirituality without belonging to a specific religion; you can also be religious but not spiritual; and lastly, you can certainly practice spirituality while belonging to an organized religion. I recommend doing whatever keeps you aligned with the divine power and on the right path in life.