When Spiritual Growth Leads to Loss

People often think that as you become more spiritually aware, your life gets better in every way. While that can happen, it doesn’t tend to be the norm. What’s more common is that spiritual growth leads to loss. You lose old values, interests, and friends. This could make your growth really lonely.

All growth requires sacrifice. That hermit crab has to get out of its shell and into a new one. It just won’t fit in there anymore. If you want to get into that kindergarten class, you have to let go of your mother’s hand and walk in alone. When you get there, it’s scary! But you know what? The fear only lasts a moment. Then you’re creating a new normal with new friends, new ideas, and a new you.

If you want to grow, you have to sacrifice your need for safety. There is no safety in that in-between space that exists between where you are and where you want to be. All these people who say things like, “I just want to be comfortable” or “I just want to make it to retirement” don’t get it. Life isn’t about being comfortable. It’s not about getting anywhere. It’s about always being right here right now. And this moment is always moving.

So when you see old things moving away, instead of seeing it as a loss, perhaps you could see this as a testament of how far you’ve come. You used to be comfortable in one spot with certain people, ideas, and things, and now you are in a different place where you need different people and things.

Spiritual growth leads to loss. It’s normal, natural, and healthy. To deny it is to stop your growth. (This reminds me of a friend who kept changing his major to delay graduating so that he didn’t have to face being an independent adult. You don’t want to do that, do you?)

So, you can think about what you are losing or you can focus on what you are gaining. When you think of it as a promotion rather than a loss, it’s a lot easier to embrace. Loss is not a bad thing. It’s just what you need. So why not take the plunge? Let go!

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