We’ve all heard various sayings throughout life that led us to believe we must somehow suffer in order to grow. Growing up in the 80s and 90s, I often saw “no pain, no gain” posters plastered on walls. I’ve also heard something like “nothing worth having comes easy” many times.  Or, “adversity is necessary to build character.” This is so deeply ingrained in modern culture. Is this really true though? What if we can experience spiritual growth without the pain?

Self Sabotage for the Sake of Spiritual Growth

I have noticed that I experience a magnificent heart-opening when I tune into the awe-filled nature that surrounds me. I feel a sense of deep belonging and an incredible reverence for the web that connects All. The only problem is, more times than not, I end up going through some sort of difficulty in order to get there. 

These days, the difficulties I experience are usually around energetic cleansing sensations. Not only my own cleansing, but the massive spiritual cleansing the world is going through collectively. Since we are all connected, we are most certainly participating in the Great Awakening, purification process. In this post, I talk about how many of us are doing a service to humanity by experiencing collective purging at this time. This purification process can feel disorienting and quite uncomfortable at times. When I feel it more intensely, I eventually slow down and rest. As a result, I get time to go inward and connect with nature which I completely and totally delight in. 

Oftentimes though, it feels as if I make this choice only when I am “forced” to. Though, in truth, I am not forced to. I do it to myself. Once checking things off my to do lists isn’t an option because I’m so wiped out, resting and reconnecting to the Divine is the only thing that I truly feel drawn towards. This can create a self perpetuating cycle of self sabotage. I create some sort of difficulty in order to pause and deeply connect. 

Is Suffering the Only Fuel for Spiritual Growth?

After waking up this morning, I sensed heightened energies swirling in my head, weighing me down. This intensity caused me to decide to take the day off. Thankfully, I had that option. I’m also thankful that I had enough awareness to see that my beliefs and thoughts on the matter had great influence over what I was experiencing. What if I didn’t believe that cleansing (for myself and others) had to be hard on me? What if I set aside more time to take a breather and reconnect?

I decided a long walk in nature with my mom would be the perfect medicine for me. As I pulled up to her house, I began to sob. Naturally, I was listening to the phenomenal Trevor Hall. His music speaks to my soul. It simultaneously soothes and prods at what needs tending to. I found myself weeping as I sat in the driveway. 

I was releasing grief along with other ambiguous emotions. I could sense that these energies were definitely not just “my stuff” but also others whom I was cleansing for. In that moment, it felt so incredibly beautiful to be able to experience the emotions running through me. I felt profoundly touched, followed by so very grateful for the ability to even feel this deeply. I was in awe. 

Breakthroughs without Suffering

I have been perpetuating the notion that in order to have a breakthrough, I must first experience some degree of strife. But, what if I could have just gone straight to that experience without all of the pain? Is that even possible? I actually do think it is.

What if because we have been conditioned to believe we must suffer to grow,  we end up manifesting suffering? What if the self-fulfilling prophecy shifted into a desired outcome minus the challenge? I realize it might seem too simple. But, today it became clear to me that I simply need to reconnect with nature and check in with myself more with regularity so it didn’t have to get “bad enough” to be “forced”.  

Lately, I’ve been pushing myself more than ever. I’ve been working tirelessly at times to create content for my business. So much so that sometimes I forget to refuel or I just keep putting it off. Clearly, some part of me is asking for more time to recharge. Rather than waiting for stress or turmoil to be the catalyst, I could make more time to recharge and connect. If I were to live in more balance, I could accomplish completed work as well as nourish my soul.

We can Gain without Pain

Even those of us who are more conscious or aware still have patterns that hold us back. Yep, still human. Yep, still growing. The question is, do we absolutely have to face adversity and challenge in order to come in contact with spiritual growth? Is it possible that that very belief is causing us to in fact continue to face challenge after challenge? I’m not suggesting that life would be hunky dory if you didn’t believe that. However, when I have worked specifically on releasing that belief along with other beliefs about my reality, I have seen drastic changes as they start to fall away layer by layer.  

Even in more spiritual circles you might hear the saying “no mud, no lutus”. This used to be one of my favorites. The lotus can only come to exist through the nutrient dense mud and muck. Are we like lotuses? Or is it possible there are other ways to achieve growth besides going through the shit? Without a doubt, I have seen adversity create some phenomenal people. I will not argue that difficulty doesn’t create fertile ground for change and evolution. I simply question whether it is the only way for it to take place. And, I highly encourage you to do the same. 

As long as we intend on evolving while also believing we must suffer to evolve, we will continue to create circumstances that lead to suffering. Our beliefs are that powerful. 

If you are interested in collapsing beliefs like these, I encourage you to check out Katie Byron’s The Work. I have found this modality simple yet effective in helping me shed layers, supporting me getting to the core of who and what I am. 

Blessings!