I think about God every day. For many years concepts like God and spirituality rested on the periphery of my life. They were scenery that I could admire now and then. I was not really on a spiritual path, a way home to my Source. I was a spiritual tourist, an interested sightseer, spending a little time here and there, but always returning to my “real” life. Eventually real life became uncomfortable, and I looked to spiritual teachings as a tool-- something I could use to get the things I wanted and needed. Life became more uncomfortable. Then I began to awaken.

Spiritual growth is rarely easy. There is no quick fix. You do not get to snap your fingers and have your world change before your eyes. When I began my spiritual search it was the search for a cure. Wiser now, I realize there is no cure to life. The meditation that promises to manifest all of your dreams; the book or cd set that claims to be the answer; the belief system that promises salvation--all of these are but fragments of the truth. Yet, truths can be found and the quality of your life can change for the better.

My life has changed. What was once an empty terrain struggling for sustenance is now a lush landscape, rich in spirit, filled with new life. As I look back I see that I am still me, yet I am more. I perceive and live life differently. This is not because of any specific physical changes such as making a lot of money. Good things come to me, and so do challenges. I give thanks for both, because they both add to my growth.

The first key for me is responsibility. I am completely responsible for my life exactly as it is. This saves me time when challenges arise. There is no one and nothing to blame. The discomfort is not my fault, either. I don’t need to waste time being a victim. The challenge is simply an opportunity for growth. Therefore, I welcome it. I sincerely believe that the Universe will support me, at least minimally, as I navigate the challenge.

The second key is tuning into my Higher Self. (Higher Power, Unified Self, God, or whatever name you call it.) Through prayer and meditation I ask for guidance and pay attention to new thoughts that inevitably come when I allow myself to be guided.

Life is about experience. The third key is to allow myself to experience it. Rather than avoiding my negative emotions, I feel them. By feeling them fully, without judgment, I can move through those experiences and grow. Every negative emotion is an opportunity. As I experience the negative I let it go and open myself to joy and freedom.

I cannot tell you what you should do. I can only share my experience knowing that, if you are willing, they will lead you deeper into your own inner landscape. This is where the road home begins. You may choose to walk this road as a tourist, being just an observer, but something more profound is calling you. It asks that you walk this road as both student and pilgrim, that you seek experiences which teach and transform.

We are all called by an Inner Voice, but how many of us answer? How many of us are willing to break the mental bindings which limit us and separate us from ourselves, from each other, and from God? How many of us are willing to move beyond normalcy and become the glorious expression we are meant to be?
This is the challenge I offer you. Will you answer the call? Will you listen to the Inner Voice calling you home to your Self? I offer this writing to you as from one student to another. I wish you well on your journey home.

Author's Bio: 

William Frank Diedrich is a speaker, executive coach, and the author of four books including The Road Home: The Journey Beyond The Spiritual Quick Fix.
This article is excerpted and adapted from his book, The Road Home. To learn more about William's book and his work, go to http://adults-at-work.com.
Regarding his book, The Road Home, Wayne Dyer said: "I loved this book's courageous honesty and shimmering passion."