I have said many times that we’re in this world to grow, and sometimes people ask me what growth is. If I were to define it for you, then it’s highly likely that you will completely miss the point. So, I leave it to you to define it for yourself. But I will say a few things about it.
True growth is manifest from a pure feeling. That pure feeling is very beautiful, and it’s available in everybody and always exists at the core of your being. It’s ever-present. It doesn’t matter how completely dysfunctional your family dynamic or your mental health history is. There is no inherent limitation to the availability of that experience of pure feeling, from which growth in every dimension of your life can be expressed.
There is only one issue in growing, and that is your willingness to engage it. That is work. The problem is that most of us, rather than being proactive about the work that presents itself in our life, are usually doing our best to avoid dealing with it. We’re trying to make the minimum amount of effort that we possibly can to get the maximum benefit in our whole lives. So we don’t really make the effort that we could make because we’re always trying to skate. Our cultural environment supports that.
In my life, I’ve had experiences that support all of my laziest instincts, particularly in school, and I’m sure you have had similar ones. These situations create a pattern of not exerting yourself and not dealing with the discomfort in yourself that arises from that exertion. It also shows up as not dealing with the discomfort that is present in your life in the form of circumstances that you need to discover how you feel about and then speak honestly to. We don’t work. It’s that simple.
If you want to have an authentic life and a life of growth, if you want to fulfill your purpose in this world and experience in that fulfillment a satisfaction and a peace and an abundance that is available to every human being, then you have to just get it in your head and in your heart that it’s work. You have to start to train yourself to love the work. Because, in fact, it’s beautiful.
Not too long ago, a student gave me a beautiful piece of pyrite. When I look at it, I think about growing and work. The student mined it himself, you see, and growing is a lot like mining. It is a lot of just drudge work, crawling around in the dirt in very uncomfortable spaces that are potentially dangerous for the sake of coming up with treasures. We work in this case to excavate from ourselves treasures that accumulate over time and turn out to be pieces of a puzzle--a puzzle that is a picture of the Ultimate Reality and the Ultimate Abundance that is present inside each of us.