Most of us live life taking our day-to-day world experiences as real, overlooking a deeper reality that brings greater meaning to our lives. I’m talking about living with a spiritual mindset that reminds us of our true nature and purpose as spiritual beings on an evolutionary journey.

Everything that we are, do, and have will come to an end when we die. We won’t take any of our wealth, possessions, skills, qualifications, relationships, fame, power, and popularity with us. The solemn reality is that we will even have to leave our bodies behind.

How can we bring more meaning to our lives if everything eventually comes to naught when we die?

When we expand our view and look at ourselves as souls gaining lessons and growing from life to life, then our experiences during this finite lifespan take a deeper significance and meaning.

A spiritual mindset gives us the larger picture of life. It provides the compass that leads us to our destination with greater purpose and happiness.

In this article, I explore two areas of life which we may view through a spiritual mindset. They are our choices and actions, and relationships with others.

A spiritual mindset ensures that you take responsibility for your choices and actions in life

If you had some expensive furniture in your home, you would take good care of it so that it would remain in excellent condition year after year. Similarly, if you knew that you would continue to live even when your life in this body ends, wouldn’t you be more careful with the choices and actions you take?

A spiritual mindset ensures that you take responsibility for your own happiness. You alone make or mar your life with your choices from moment to moment. No one and nothing is the cause of your unhappiness.

And, you alone will have to experience the results of your past good, and not-so-good actions. No one can share or experience them for you.

There is an old Indian story that illustrates this point.

Ratnakar was a vicious bandit who used to waylay travellers in the forest, loot away their money and valuables and often killed them as well.

One day, he caught a saint and was going to kill him in anger because he found no valuables on him. As he fiercely shook the saint by the shoulders, the saint asked him calmly, “Why are you doing all these violent things? Is there anyone who will take or share in the sins you are committing?”

Surprised by the question, Ratnakar stopped and blurted back. “Of course! My family will! I’m doing these things for them.”

“Are you sure?” the saint asked him. “Why don’t you go back home and find out.”

Touched by the saint’s gentle manner, Ratnakar stopped to think. He had never told his family of his nefarious deeds. Curious to know what they would say, the bandit tied the saint to a tree and hurried home to ask his family.

As he walked, he recalled how his wife loved all the beautiful jewelry he had brought her in the past. “Surely she will support my actions, and share in my sins,” he thought.

When he told his wife of where their livelihood came from, she was outraged. She shrunk away in disgust and said angrily, “I never asked you to steal and kill for me! No, I will not share the dirty sins you are committing!”

Shocked by her response, he turned to his children and asked them the same question. Horrified by what they had just heard and frightened at the thought of having to suffer for their father’s sins, they shuddered, shook their heads meekly and retreated.

He then realized that he alone would have to take responsibility for his evil deeds.

The enormity of the consequences of living his sinful life hit him hard.

Reeling in shock, he walked unsteadily out of the house back into the deep forest where the saint was. He freed him and fell on his knees filled with extreme remorse. With eyes filled with tears, he pleaded for forgiveness.

The saint advised him to chant the holy name of God to cleanse himself of his sins. Ratnakar sat down right there and then and started to chant fervently, with full faith.

Legend has it that hundreds of years went by, and finally, Ratnakar emerged from his meditation, purified of his past sins.

Many times, we do wrong things because we don’t see the consequences of our actions clearly.

Or, even though we may understand the law of karma and know that we will have to experience the results of our actions in the future, we haven’t pondered enough on it, have doubts about it, or often forget it.

The Law of Karma is simple—selfless actions beneficial to others reap happy future circumstances. And selfish actions, uncaring of others bring us unhappy life circumstances.

Without accepting this, it would be hard to make sense of why some people are born in a comfortable environment, have good health, a loving family and are generally happier in life, and those who live with challenging circumstances, experience trauma, ill health and unhappy relationships.

There must be some prior cause for the differences.

We can’t say it’s random or “luck” as we live in a cosmos—an ordered and intelligent system with precise laws where there are no “accidents.”

If the universe is the cause for one person’s happiness and another’s suffering, on what basis would the selection be made? Is the universe partial to some and cruel to others? Why would this be so?

The universe cannot be the cause of our suffering. No one suffers or enjoys because of someone else’s actions. That would be illogical and out of place in this orderly cosmos. The doer of an act alone will have to experience the results of that act.

Even when it appears that others are the cause of our suffering, we must have attracted that karma through our past actions. There cannot be an effect without a prior cause. We alone are responsible for our own happiness and unhappiness.

Living with a spiritual mindset enables us to see the larger picture of our lives and live with greater self-awareness. We take responsibility of our own happiness and therefore, make better choices and do good actions.

Living with ego and selfishness, on the other hand, make us forget our divine nature and purpose.

Handling relationships with a spiritual mindset

A spiritual mindset helps us see each other as fellow souls on the journey of life.

Learning and maturing inwardly is the goal of all our relationships—whether they are short term or long term, social, personal or professional.

Family members come together because of their common past karma, but each has a different lesson to learn.

To illustrate this point, think of passengers on a plane. They all come together because they all want to travel on a particular day and time. However, each passenger has a different purpose for his or her trip. And, each experiences the journey differently.

What’s more, they all don’t get off at the same place. Some people get off earlier at a transit city, some get off at the final port of landing and go their separate ways, while the rest travel to further cities after they arrive.

Close family relationships such as our life partners, children, parents, siblings, and often even work colleagues, bosses, or employees bring us the biggest life lessons.

You may be having such great conflicts that you wonder why the other person is in your life in the first place. “Maybe the universe made a mistake bringing this person into my life.”

Resisting and complaining about having to deal with difficult relationships is as good as saying that you know better than the infinitely intelligent universe!

As difficult as they can be, these relationships have the potential to bring you great growth.

Having a spiritual mindset is seeing your relationships as a mirror of your inner self.

While you may think that someone’s reactions show you who they are, they are in fact, showing you who you are. The beauty or ugliness that you notice in the other person reflects your own inner world.

If someone gets angry or irritated with you, it’s because you are harbouring some deep anger and irritation towards her.

With a spiritual mindset, what others do and say doesn’t matter. What is important is how you respond to them.

Letting go, forgiving and moving on are good solutions. However, they are not easy things to do.

But if you have a genuine desire to improve a relationship by improving your own thoughts, words and actions, then that’s a great start.

When you prioritize your learning and evolution, you gain the strength and motivation to make the inner changes necessary.

Once you change, the world around you, your circumstances and relationships will reflect the new you.

Elevate and improve your life with a spiritual mindset

A spiritual mindset gives us the bigger picture and inspires us to elevate our thinking, words and actions.

It guides us to improve ourselves, our lives and relationships through good choices and following up with right actions.

With a spiritual mindset, we see ourselves as souls on a magnificent journey of learning and evolution.

Learn more your evolutionary journey in my book, Your Spiritual Journey.

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Manisha Melwani

Manisha Melwani is a teacher and the author of, "Your Spiritual Journey" She offers spiritual and wellness solutions for life and stress management. She teaches classes in personal growth, stress management and meditation. Contact her for more information or to have her speak to your group or organization. She also offers private counseling sessions on-line.

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