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Spiritual Growth
A Lament Of The Aging
By Richard Kalfus
Published: October 2015
I am old,
So I've been told
By magazines and TV commercials
Portraying perfect complexions,
Perfect hair, no bald men there.
Perfect sculpted bodies,
Ready to jog
To save the world
In an Alzheimer's benefit run.
Am I envious?
You bet I am!
I was naked
So many years ago
Standing before the army doctor
Who wrote, without a word:
"The 19-year-old is fit to serve."
A quick glance in the mirror now
To register
The wrinkled, blotchy face,
Protruding stomach,
Breasts I never had,
The bald head of Mr. Clean,
Alas, without the muscles
Of television fame.
I look around
At the men and woman of my age
In the community pool
And am comforted
In a grotesque way
That I am one of many;
I am not alone.
If we are to ponder of the deeper message of this poem, the state of the author now and the person that he was once, reality will shock. Time flies so fast that it will be too late for us to realize that we have changed. Undeniably, beauty products claim to have the capacity to defy age, when in fact, no one can. Bodily growth and changes are inevitable.
As much as this is true, Spirituality can also grow. This is called Spiritual Growth.
Like enlightenment, meditation, spirituality, and the like, Spiritual Growth can be a bit confusing at times also. Let us take the statement of a licensed mental health counselor Nitish Matthew, MA, MA (I/O), LMHC from his article entitled Spiritual Development: Definition and Purpose. He said, “Many a theologian has offered a definition of spiritual development over the course of two millennia. Spiritual development can mean many things to many people in the secular and pluralistic environment we inhabit in our terrestrial world. Spiritual development, in essence, is to believe in something beyond the material universe and to develop an awareness of realities beyond the confines of time and space.”
The same as Jeff Durham as he said, “Spiritual growth is about reaching out to and connecting with your inner soul and is a method of becoming more harmonious with life around us, develops our own feelings of inner power and strength and leads us to live happier lives and to take more responsibility for our own actions. Whilst most people need to find some time for solitude as they go about this important journey, it does not mean that all of a sudden we feel the urge to go off to some secluded place miles away from anybody in order to ‘find ourselves’ nor does it mean that we start acting or behaving strangely or neglect any of our existing responsibilities. It’s just about discovering more about ourselves as a person in order to grow and to lead a balanced life which not only works in harmony with our feelings, our physical being and our mind but with our soul (or spirit) also.”
But how can we practice it?
Jeff wrote, “Think about things that captivate your mind and your imagination and try to discover what it is that makes you feel a heightened sense of consciousness and the feeling of being truly ‘alive’. Many people have suggested that considering yourself as a spirit who happens to have a physical body as opposed to a body with a spirit can have dramatically powerful and positive effects on the way you view both yourself and the world around you.”
No matter what religion, belief, principle, or practice you have, as long as you discover your inner self and discover what you are, you will be in the journey of spiritual growth.