I remember I learnt in Biology classes that growth is one of the signs of life shared by all living. I also remember that the teachers said that the growth we experience is different to the vegetative growth. Although, I think even if I was not told I could figure this out on my own since I do not remember looking for food in the soil or being told by mom to: “go stand under the sun and make glucose if you are hungry.” It is quite a clear fact that the process of growing takes place differently in different living.
However, something that might not be as clear and they do not tell you about in Biology lectures, is that we have two kinds of growth as human beings. We are more than just the physical body. Suppose you start a weight loss diet and manage to lose 20 lbs. will that make you less of a human being? Or say if doctors cut the legs of a diabetes patient, does that mean that they have cut part of his personality too? Of course, not. Indeed, the new challenges he faces during the process might even make him a stronger person. As well as our physical existence, we have a spiritual side too, a side which needs care and attention as much as the physical body if not more. If we do not take care of our spiritual side and provide it with what it needs to grow we will become a robot who can walk, lift, run and yet does not feel anything.
Now when I say we should help our spirit grow I do not mean that we should stand under the sun every once in a while to enlighten our soul or that there are certain vitamin pills for soul that you can purchase at your local church or mosque or your local pharmacy. As I mentioned earlier, growth happens differently from one living to another. So how do we know the Do’s and Dont’s of a healthy spiritual growth? How can we know our soul is not overweight or lacking nutrition.
As it is true with most things in life, the first step in taking care of our spiritual side is to be aware of it and know that there is such thing. If you have a pet you want to take care of the first thing you have to do is to make sure you never forget the pet’s meal times. Maybe you can put a reminder on your smartphone. Even if you have got the best cat food in the cupboard, your cat will be unhappy if you forget to feed him.
If we remember in every stage of our life that there is a spiritual side to our being then we have already done most of the work. This way we will become more attentive to our soul and gradually we can take the needed steps to grow spiritually and hence experience a new realm of life. The change we will then feel will be much more dramatic than the change we felt when we left childhood and become an adult and we realised that there are important things other than chocolate, glitter pens and balloons.