Rosario meditates, prays, and hopes everyday. The belief in God and divinities has long been instilled in her by her ancient parents. Rosario is religious with her divine practices yet she feels empty inside. She is lacking and barren. Rosario has lost touched with those outside her religious world.
This is a classic example of religiosity gone wrong. Many practicing religious people such as rabbis, priests, church volunteers and others feel spiritually wealthy because they serve the churches of their chosen gods. Therefore, they see their proximity as a path to gaining spiritual prosperity – the closer they are to doing church work and serving their congregations, then the more spiritually prosperous they feel. However spiritual prosperity goes beyond serving one’s church and practicing what has become traditional, like prayers and masses. It is more of an introspective viewing of one’s life and the serving of those who are much in need. I am not saying that we might as well drop all our religious acts– what I am merely pointing out is that spiritual prosperity goes beyond the walls of our churches.
Introspection for one involves looking deep into ourselves and knowing the purpose of our desires, whether they are for the gain of everyone or for personal materialistic achievement. If the purpose is geared towards the benefit of others, then such is an aspect of spiritual prosperity, although not the entirety of this wealth.
Spiritual prosperity is also believing and acting on the belief. The financial crisis that many experience today is so tangible that many are also in the conscious awareness of fear of losing everything. When asked what they understand about prosperity – they might answer money – and the lack of it is the opposite of prosperity. But money is not prosperity – the belief that you can have whatever you lack and the act that follows the belief is prosperity. It becomes spiritual in a sense that you are now getting in touch with the capacities you have – the capacities that are entirely modeled and made according to the likeness of your god. Because you are now aware of your capacities, you can practice these capacities by helping others – and thus gain spiritual prosperity in essence. Other people like you are made according to the image of their gods after all.
But how will you know if you are struggling with your spiritual prosperity? There is actually no one definite answer to that question. I rather believe that such struggles take in many different forms. Here are some of the few.
• You do yoga, mediations and prayers but you act negatively. But whenever you have issues you are cruel to the world although you do your daily meditation.
• Your breakfast is anger, your lunch is frustration, and your dinner is depression – although you are surrounded by your family and love ones. You act like this because you have unresolved issues with those around you and you hide your personal skeletons in your closet. That is, you’re not happy because you cannot achieve the goals they have set for you.
• You are absorbed in your own little world – and feel like you have no cause to help others since you have your own problems as well.
• You are very much into technology and gadgets that you’ve lost touched with the natural scene. You also become stressed by what you see in the media and what you lack according to the media. Material attachment is definitely out of sync with spiritual prosperity.
• You blame people when things go wrong, whether it was their fault or not. Instead of moving forward, you wallow in the blaming game and continue to pity yourself for being caught in the situation.
Now, if you find yourself in one of those situations mentioned – then perhaps you are struggling with your spiritual prosperity. Never fear though, these struggles can be addressed through practices of spiritual prosperity. Here is a list of such practices. These might not be everything that you would like to do since you, like other people, may have your own spiritual prosperity exercises but you really only have to get the gist of these means in order to understand how spiritual prosperity works.
• Work on the aspects of your emotional character. If you are still capable of giving more love, more care, more kindness – then do so. Enhancing your capacity for these positive attitudes enhances your likeness to your God’s image.
• Take happiness in every little thing, be it a small token of appreciation from another person, a useless gift or a single bud opening in the morning dew. Some people may have all the wealth but if they are not happy, then they are not prosperous at all. They may constantly worry about obstacles, thus they hinder themselves from gaining spiritual prosperity.
• Believe in something positive, no matter how minute it is. When you have something positive to believe in, religious or not – you become more positive towards other things. You influence other people to become positive as well. Positivity is contagious. Once you’re optimistic other people around you may become optimistic too.
• Stop blaming others and stop complaining about them too. Blaming and complaining are two negative behaviors. Spiritual prosperity does not believe in these. When you blame others and complain about other people, you are doing the same to their god as they are made in his likeness.
• Define your personal life. You are not controlled by external forces and you are not tied with strings to other people’s hands. You are the master of yourself. If others define prosperity in material things, then do not define your prosperity in such manner. Focus more on the definition you want to create around yourself. If you sweep the streets for your job, be glad – at least that is decent work. If you have twenty dollars in your wallet today, be happy because it may be more than what other people have.
• Believe that you need less. Simple lives create simple concerns. Similarly, complex lives create complex concerns. Remember the parable of the poor man and the rich man? The poor man is happy because he has no money and nothing to worry about, while the rich man constantly worries about thieves robbing him of his money at night, thus he misses his sleep. The simpler the life is – the better.
• Converse with your God. Take sometime off in a quiet place and talk to your god, in prayer form, meditations or yoga. Even communing with nature is conversing with your God. Take pleasure in your God’s wonderful creations specially because you are part of it.
These lists of situations indicating whether you are struggling with spiritual prosperity and what you can do about these struggles are only some means of finding spiritual prosperity. Although they are not the complete list, what is necessary is that you acknowledge the chance of finding spiritual prosperity or the loss of it in every detailed thing that you do. Perhaps it’s time to reevaluate yourself and ask – am I struggling with spiritual prosperity? How can I over come it?