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This article was previously published in 2019.
Life offers to us many paths. There is not just one path to happiness or one path to the Creator. There are multiple ways to believe and to connect to divinity. This is why I welcome many modalities of spirituality, so I can begin to include every piece of the puzzle and every color of the tapestry of life. This is how we come to truly embody spirituality, which at its root is the spirit of inclusiveness and unity among all people. Spirituality includes everyone and everything. Our path to divinity is unique, personal, and individual. Each soul is making its way back to the Creator in its own special way. Who are we to judge this process? Are we the Creator? In the same way I cannot tell the rose not to be red or the violet not to be purple, I cannot tell another soul who or what they should believe. This is spirituality: loving the Creator by loving and respecting His creations. We cannot say we love the Creator but not his creations. We cannot walk the path of another. We must do what is right for ourselves. Inside, we each have an inner compass that guides us on our path. It is imperative that we hear and honor this voice. The spark of the Creator is inside of us and it speaks to us, guiding us to reveal our own special Light and purpose. This week, we are assisted in connecting with our own inner truth. The wisdom within is illuminated.
"This is spirituality: loving the Creator by loving and respecting His creations."
Our portion this week is Shlach Lecha. In Shlach Lecha, having set out for the Promised Land, Moses asks leaders of the 12 tribes to go forward, “spy” on it, and return with a report. The Promised Land was a utopic land flowing with “milk and honey.” Nevertheless, ten of the 12 spies return and give false testimony about the land. They reported it was uninhabitable and full of enemies. The Israelites, unfortunately, believed this and wept. They believed what others said instead of what they knew to be true in their hearts. They believed in the word of these ten leaders over their trust in Moses, in the Creator, and in all the miracles to which they had borne witness. The Creator and Moses had promised them success and goodness, and in one moment, the Israelites relinquished this connection because of fear and doubt. These ten leaders who spoke falsely about the Promised Land did so because they were afraid, as well. They were afraid that if everyone arrived at the Promised Land, the Israelites would reach total spiritual maturation, and that as a result, they as leaders would no longer be needed or have power. These “spies” lied about the goodness that was ahead, depriving and obstructing the people of receiving their bounty, all because they cared about the preservation of their own status and power. They placed themselves first, and others second. Thinking for ourselves alone and disregarding others only brings darkness into our lives. Because of this false report and because the Israelites believed it, the generation would not be permitted to enter the Promised Land. Only the next generation would enter.
"Your own truth is your path to greatness."
The Israelites chose to believe the voices on the outside. They chose to go against what they knew to be true for themselves and believed a false report. This issue is really at the heart of our spiritual journey. Every day, we need to be courageous enough to commit to our heart’s wisdom, our inner Light, and our unique individual path. How many times have we said to ourselves, “I knew better, but why did I make the choice I did?" The world will always be filled with distractions designed to tempt us from our own truth and destiny. Oftentimes, we consent to the fears and judgments of others, allowing them to shape what we feel and believe. The Israelites’ story teaches us about the challenges on our own spiritual path. We are too often afraid to give, worried we will not have enough. We are tempted to take the easier path, to think of only ourselves in order to get ahead. This week, we gain the power to rise above such false reports. We are gifted with the priceless ability to hear our inner voice and follow the calling of our soul. For although we may be diverse in our many paths to the Divine, we are united in that the desire of our soul is always to share.
In your meditation, allow this powerful and balanced Light reveal to you your unique path. You are able to see that when you care about the needs of others and become a giving being, you indeed will win in the end and reach your Promised Land. Ask the Creator to guide you in hearing your own truth and for the help in allowing your divinity within to shine. Ask that you are protected from thoughts of fear and doubt, and instead connect only to thoughts of positivity and love. The outside may give us a false report, warning us from thinking of others, but this is only designed to prevent us from becoming all who we were meant to become. Your own truth is your path to greatness. It is when we are willing to release outer distractions that we are able to discover the more powerful treasures within ourselves. We each have a unique, special path and truth in this life. If we are able to hear it and then are willing to act upon it, we will merit to connect to our truest purpose and our truest joy here on earth.