A single word can open your heart; a single glance can tell you who you really are. Awakening doesnít happen according to the plan. Itís much more like putting together a jigsaw puzzle without knowing the finished picture in advance. All you can imagine in advance are images, and images are never the same as the goal.
If there was a spiritual payoff at the end of the trail, like a pot of gold or the key to heaven, everyone would work as hard as possible for the reward. Any struggle would be worth it. But does it help a two-year-old to struggle to become three? No, because the process of child development unfolds from within. You donít get a paycheck; you turn into a new person.
The same is true for spiritual unfolding. It happens just as naturally as childhood development, but on the plane of awareness rather than in the realm of physiology.
Donít wait for a miracle. It really doesnít matter how you define miracle Ė whether it is the sudden appearance of perfect love, a cure for a life-threatening disease, anointment from a great spiritual leader, or permanent and everlasting bliss.
A miracle is letting God do all the work; it separates the supernatural world from this world, with the expectation that one day the supernatural world will notice you. Since there is only one reality, your task is to break through boundaries of division and separation. Watching and waiting for a miracle keeps the boundaries up.
Iíve met countless people who gave up on spirituality because they didnít reach their goals fast enough. The best way to avoid disappointment is not to set a deadline in the first place, although many people find this difficult to do without losing motivation. But motivation was never going to get them there in the first place.
Rather than a timetable, give yourself support for spiritual growth. This can be in the form of a personal teacher, a discussion group, a partner who shares the path with you, regular retreats, and keeping a daily journal.
Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004).