We often undertake spiritual practice for the purpose of impacting who we are inside, at the soul level. At the very least, we go into our spiritual existence hoping to change how we feel and what kind of person we are deep down. A lot of practices seek to change our inner being through specific behaviors and practices.
But how often do we seek to change our outward behavior via spiritual means?
I certainly wouldn’t say it never happens, but by and large I see more concern over the inner effects of spirituality rather than outer changes. It seems, in fact, that many people think it’s possible to change oneself inside and still be difficult, overbearing, judgmental, or negative on the outside.
What we seek to be on the inside should be reflected on the outside. In fact, I think what we are on the outside is a better indicator of what we really believe than our perception of ourselves. If our spiritual pursuits can’t aid us in becoming to others the person we wish to become, has it really changed us or done us good?
I often hear people talk about other spiritual paths or religions negatively in terms of how they treat those outside the faith, how the adherents of those traditions express their faith to others. And yet, when it comes to looking at their own attitudes and behaviors, the judgment is often far less harsh. I firmly believe that our spirituality should be grounds for judging ourselves first and most deeply.