just because i’m spiritual doesn’t mean i’m positive all the time

There’s this common misconception that if you claim to be a “spiritual” person, then you must be super zen and super chill and feel no emotions other than happiness 24/7. You never curse, you never want to slap somebody, you never get annoyed, you never get frustrated, you never want to make a bad decision, and you’re ALWAYS in a perfect tree pose while holding a joint in one hand and a kale smoothie in the other. You must be picture perfect like all the other Instagram-yogis who portray this “Buddha-ful” life through filters and staged photos of handstands in front of waterfalls.

Going on a real spiritual journey is a lot more than that. Some of those wonderful things might be included, but most of the time, you don’t get to all that good stuff unless you go through some really shitty stuff too. Spiritual journeys include a lot of breaking down, a lot of solitude, a lot of buried stuff coming to the surface in possibly ugly ways, a lot of healing, a lot of growth, a lot of realizations, and yes, a lot of beauty, happiness, and a newfound sense of peace in the end. I’ve been discovering so much of myself, piece by piece, through every mistake I’ve made and every regret. I’ve felt so hurt at times that I’ve wanted to hurt somebody else so they can understand how I feel. I’ve felt my heart break for somebody else, and then that person’s heartbreak became mine and I wanted to hurt the person that hurt them. I’ve gone through the same repeated negative cycles over and over just so the Universe could keep trying to knock the same ol’ lesson into my head after I didn’t understand the first ten times. I’ve judged others for their poor decisions knowing damn well that I’m not the queen of logic and reason. I know that I’ve been on a winding rollercoaster of a spiritual journey and frankly, I don’t give a shit if it hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies and “namaste” this and “namaste” that. Spiritual people acknowledge their shadow self just as much as they acknowledge their light. To deny myself to feel hate, anger, jealousy, and sadness would be denying myself the right to be HUMAN. To deny myself the room to make mistakes would be denying myself the right to be IMPERFECT.

“If all you talk about is love, light and positivity, be prepared for a harsh but liberating reality check. What goes up must come down. Light and darkness work together to create the whole of existence.”

I’m not trying to only advocate for myself here. I’m trying to say that you’re only going to be hindering yourself from growth and a better, more complete understanding of yourself if you deny the fact that you have shadows and imperfections just as much as the person next to you who is judging you. Maybe you’re the one judging yourself. Maybe you’re sitting there thinking you must not be a “spiritual person” or have the potential to be one because you have an addiction, a mental illness, or a loss of motivation towards life. Maybe you just cussed out your roommate or got piss drunk at the bar and that’s not something the Dalai Lama would do. Guess what? SPIRITUAL PEOPLE ARE ALL THOSE THINGS TOO. Because we all have a spirit. The choice you make is whether or not you want to acknowledge it. Whether you want to allow yourself to see the synchronicity, the hidden meanings, the lessons, and the signs. Whether you want to achieve YOUR HIGHEST POTENTIAL as a human being on Earth. That’s what a spiritual person is. So, you can still tell somebody (who deserves it) to fuck off while simultaneously wanting to drink a cup of green tea and light some incense.