Spiritual Principles… Spiritual Laws… Truths… Traditions or whatever you may call it.
At the core, all of them are just an approach towards life.
There are people in this world who crib about life at a tiny tumble and then there are people who know how to stay optimistic even in the toughest of situations.
There’s just one difference between the two.
The latter decided to live life by spiritual principles. Contrary to popular beliefs, these principles are not “religious”. Instead, they are the “rules of engagement” designed to help you make the most of this life.
So, are you ready to transform your so-called suffering to a highly satisfied and successful living?
Ofcourse, you are! So, let’s begin!
What are Spiritual Principles?
Fundamental Truths or guiding principles that serve as a foundation for a system of belief or behavior.
Life is hard, really hard unless you decide to live it otherwise… with these universal spiritual Principles.
Spiritual Principles are basically guiding or healing principles corresponding to the 12-steps model of Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, etc. However, that doesn’t mean you need to be an alcoholic to practice this healing process. You might just be suffering from a lack of perception, growth, and satisfaction in life.
Regardless of your specific purpose, the overall purpose of these spiritual practices is to make you a better human being.
Spiritual Principles vs Values
These universal truths are meaningful values yet cannot be classified as values. This is primarily because they cannot be classified as family or finances. They are fuelled with healing techniques and positive energies that make you a better individual.
When you commit towards becoming a better human being, our actions contribute to our own well-being and also the society as a whole which in turn makes your life less challenging.
Spiritual Awakening can’t happen overnight, it’s a process that must be followed with willingness and vigilance. So, reading these principles and practicing them in real life are two entirely different things.
But if you are here, reading this, you must have already set up your mind, pre-prepared for the struggle.
Let me tell you, it will be worth it!ṣ
So, here are the principles that you need to begin with!
Spiritual Principles for Better Life
Spiritual Principle 1: Acceptance
The ability to acknowledge and come to reality with things that you can’t control is acceptance.
There’s a serenity prayer that says, “God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference” – that encourages you to accept situations that you cannot change.
This does not imply that you must accept the evil done to you. No. Never. Acceptance is simply a form of saying “Okay” to the Universe.
Human beings are control freaks and so when they come face-to-face with experiences that cannot be controlled, it disturbs their mental peace and creates a block in their healing. Acceptance enables you to accept different people, different mindsets, and different situations.
Spiritual Principle 2: Hope
A state of positive expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen is hope.
Out of all the 12 principles, hope is one of the most powerful spiritual healing remedies. None of the others mentioned will be accomplished if you don’t have the hope to recover.
In the difficult days, hope gives you the power to keep going and also a belief that better days will come. There are pessimistic people around the globe who would just brush off hope calling it useless.
Don’t believe them. Hope not only allows you to see a better future but also helps you deal with the present situation better. Long story short, it is an emotional form of telling your heart “this too shall pass”.
Spiritual Principle 3: Faith
Complete trust or confidence in someone or something and belief in the existence of God is called Faith.
When we are at the crossroads, the fear of making bad decisions keeps hovering around you. Faith is what replaces this fear. It helps you take the leap with a belief that there’s someone who is backing you.
Faith allows you to believe in God’s plans for you and that everything happens for a reason. People who don’t have faith often find themselves depressed by situations that don’t turn out to be as per their expectations.
It is also closely related to acceptance as it enables us to accept that the Universe gives us everything at the right time and for the right purpose.
Spiritual Principle 4: Courage
Mental firmness and the will to face extreme difficulty or fear is courage.
In life, you experience situations that test your mental strength. At this time, you need the courage to survive through these crises. It is definitely not going to be easy but it is worth the struggle.
Start by adapting it in your day-to-day activities like standing up for what you believe in, telling your boss about your idea, or revolting against injustice.
Courage is also one of the most important virtues because without it all the others will render useless. It takes courage to love, to forgive, or even to speak up.
Spiritual Principle 5: Integrity or Honesty
Thealignment of emotional or mental state with physical actions is called integrity.
Integrity can be practiced in two ways – when your words match our actions and when your emotional or mental state matches your exterior. This alignment comes naturally when you are in constant touch with your core values of behaviors.
Integrity teaches you to be honest to yourself and to the world, both at the same time. It also makes you less manipulative and when practiced with acceptance, makes you more appreciative.
It’s very difficult to keep this consistency in thoughts and actions at all times, especially when emotions are involved. But with practice, no feta is unachievable.
Spiritual Principle 6: Willingness
The urge to do something or to at least try an act is called willingness.
When you are in recovery, willingness can make all the difference. It proves that you are not just thinking about doing something, instead, you are ready to do it.
All the spiritual research that you have done, you are now ready to put it into action. Start with small tasks at home like saying yes to an after-work yoga class or a new hobby that’s been long-awaited.
Remember, willingness is all about action. Most of the time in life, we know what we want but are reluctant to the required changes to achieve it.
Spiritual Principle 7: Humility
Accepting one’s faults, shortcomings, or defects is called humility.
Humility teaches you the art of personal acceptance. You understand that you are neither better, nor worse to any – you are just you.
You learn to accept your own self for what you are and where you are in life. It also makes you face-to-face with your shortcomings and you are aware of your triggers and weaknesses. This tells you what you need to be grateful for and must also improve.
To begin with, stop arguing about how you are always right and be willing to accept your faults. You might feel defeated but once you adapt it in your daily life, you will feel more powerful than ever.
Spiritual Principle 8: Brotherly Love or Compassion
Unselfish concern that accepts others and seeks their betterment is called Brotherly Love.
Brotherly love enlightens you with the facts the opposite person has the same spirit as you and showing compassion towards them without expecting anything in return.
If you are willing to contribute to humanity, love and compassion are the most powerful spiritual principles that embody it. It empowers you with sympathy, empathy, and concern towards others’ sufferings.
You can practice compassion in your daily-life tasks. Start with maybe carrying the groceries for your neighbor or holding the door for someone or maybe just hugging your friends when they are going through a tough time.
Spiritual Principle 9: Justice and Self-Discipline
Internal and external activity built upon adherence to the desired outcome is called Discipline.
Most of us have understood the concept of self-discipline wrong. We regard the idea as something unpleasant and associate it with strict physical or psychological regimes that we force upon ourselves in order to achieve something.
Fortunately, the real idea of discipline is far from this. Discipline is actually the actions you take to achieve a certain thing. It is a form of personal commitment required to master the chosen subject.
Self-discipline allows you to take complete responsibility for your actions and your life as a whole. You can begin practicing it by doing what’s right for you irrespective of the complexity level.
Spiritual Principle 10: Perseverance
Diligence to stick steadfastly to the objective, despite any adversity or opposition is called perseverance.
Spiritual recovery, like every other recovery, is full of challenges, big or small. People who lack perseverance will give up when tested and hence will not be able to achieve the desired.
Thus, to keep moving ahead and win over the internal obstacles, you need to practice perseverance. In the process, you are bound to fall many times, experience difficult situations but you need to keep getting back up, forgive yourselves, and keep the hope alive.
Recovery is a lifelong process, and you need to keep righting your wrongs every day to be able to become what you want to be.
Spiritual Principle 11: Unity and Spirituality
Seeking a higher power as our guide and source of strength is called Spirituality.
Spirituality doesn’t mean being religious but an understanding of the higher power who guides us all. The primary aim of this spiritual principle is to make you aware of the fact that a higher power exists that transcends us all.
You can practice this by adapting to yoga, meditation, and prayer in your daily lives. Once you realize that you can’t control everything, you will be able to deal with crises more confidently.
Further, it also leads to a spiritual awakening which makes you less materialistic, more generous, and more empathetic in life.
Spiritual Principle 12: Service
Contribution to the welfare of others is called service.
Service is the most powerful spiritual dimension among all the others. It is the act of making intentional contributions for the welfare of the environment and the society at large without any expectations in return.
You can offer service in so many forms: money, energy, time, or even tangible goods. As long as it is helping others and there’s no hidden selfish motive, it’s a service.
It can either be a one-time thing or a perpetual practice. But if you want to adopt this into your belief systems, start by making small attempts in your daily life. For instance, talk to someone who is struggling or help a differently-abled person, etc.
These were the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous that treats patients with different addictions. But that’s not all to spirituality. There are other simple spiritual principles which we often forget –
Spiritual Principle 13: Forgiveness
To let go of the hurt, resentments, ill wills, or any other negative energies residing within is called forgiveness.
In life, people will hurt you in many ways but if you really wish to walk on a spiritual path, you need to learn to forgive, even when they don’t ask for it.
Holding onto these negative feelings is hurting you more than anyone else. The pent-up emotions not only enjoys a higher power over your mental space but also disturbs your daily actions. Forgiveness frees you from this vicious circle and gives you the desired mental peace.
Forgiveness does not always imply others; you also need to grant forgiveness to yourself. Remember, sometimes the toughest part is to learn how to forgive your own self and letting go of the wrongs you have done to others.
Spiritual Principle 14: Expectation
Programming outcomes in life on the basis of one’s wants and desires is called expectation.
Success and failure are two verbal propositions but are determined on the basis of what you expect from life. If you want A but you get B, you consider it as a failure and vice versa.
Expectations driven by clear intention and efforts will direct your focus to the desired outcomes and help you achieve it. So, if you are expecting something make sure you have centered your attention and actions towards it.
Spiritual Principle 15: Open-Mindedness
The tolerance or ability to accept others opinions is called Open-Mindedness
To be able to have a satisfying life, you need to understand and accept that there are other ways to live. You must be ready to accept that you may not have always done things the right way and be open to information and suggestions from the ones who are more aware.
Remember, the more open-minded you are, the better you will be able to perceive different situations in your life.
If you close yourself behind the doors of “I know everything”, your growth and recovery will both be stunted. So be welcoming to others’ advice and ideas and also don’t be afraid to voice your own.
Spiritual Principle 16: Intention
The plan or objective towards which all the other actions are directed is called intention.
You want to achieve something – but if you don’t know what this “something” is – how are you going to achieve it? The inability or unwillingness to make the big choices in life can keep you stuck.
Most people are afraid to miss out on the other options and get apprehensive about giving it up. But what they don’t understand is not choosing is also a choice that will lead you nowhere.
So, start with making small decisions and concentrate all your actions on it. Intention is fuelled with the law of attraction that says the universe also helps you achieve your goals if you focus your thoughts and actions on it.
Spiritual Principle 17: Mindfulness
To live in the present moment is called Mindfulness.
Mindfulness is an art most of us fail to reckon. We are either reminiscing our past or pondering over your future and in the process completely fail to breath and enjoy this very moment.
You definitely have plans for the future and even some regrets from the past but what’s gone is gone and what is to come is still coming. Learn to live in this very moment and only then you will be able to experience joy.
Don’t think anymore and start with Now. Enjoy the fact that you are reading this article at this very moment.
Spiritual Principle 18: Optimism
Ability to see the positive side of everything is called Optimism
Very few people in this world can practice optimism but once you do, there’s no suffering that can hinder your recovery. Amidst the 12 services of AA, optimism is hidden in every principle in one way or the other.
Unless you can see a silver lining in every dark cloud, you will keep feeling like a victim. You need to keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason that will benefit you in one form or the other.
There’s a saying called “Things turn out for the best if you make the best of the way things turn out” – this best describes the importance of optimism in life.
Spiritual Principle 19: Gratitude
Being thankful for everything that you have or will have is called gratitude.
Gratitude is the most profound spiritual principle. As long as you believe your life is a gift, there’s nothing that can stop your recovery.
People who have been through hell or even worse will tell you how making a gratitude list every morning have helped them recover very soon. Be thankful for this life, for this breath, or even for being alive at this very moment and see how it changes your perception towards life.
There are so many people all across this globe who don’t have the leisure to sit and read this article because they are not educated enough, or privileged enough with the resources. Infact, so many don’t have food, homes, or even families. Consider yourself fortunate if you at least have these.
Spiritual Principle 20: Patience and Tolerance
To allow the existence of something one doesn’t approve of is called tolerance.
As human beings, we are bound to differ in so many things – caste, creed, sex, religion, politics, etc. The key is to be able to tolerate and accept others with the same intensity as yours.
It’s okay to differ and voice your opinion on a specific subject. What is not okay is to cause harm or take action against others who don’t match yours. You need to learn to be quiet on subjects you don’t agree with.
One way to achieve this is to keep reminding yourself that you don’t know everything and there are different ways to look at certain things. The more you practice tolerance, the more patient you will become and eventually be able to achieve the desire for mental peace.
Over to you…
While practicing these principles, remember to pause and reflect on them.
Remember, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself by practicing all at once. Choose one to begin with and focus on one principle each day.
Gradually, you will find yourself practicing them all and the more you practice, the easier it will become.
“If we have our own ‘why’ in life, we shall get along with almost any ‘how’.”– Friedrich Nietzsche
Surabhi has a deep passion for words. She puts her heart and mind into whatever she pursues and craves for creative ventures. She has always been keen on creating original content that can make a difference. In her experience as a content writer, she has had the opportunity to work on several fields with Psychology being her favorite. Surabhi says, words have the power to transform the world, better than a sword. So she hopes to contribute her bit to this revolution. At TheMindFool, she feels lucky to have the opportunity to share content capable of bringing about a change in the lives of the readers.