We start out on our new found spiritual journey with the enthusiasim that I would liken to what we were as small children. With renewed hope, belief, and excitement about what life could be, we start our journey again, but his time we are bound to be more in control of it. Depending on what our interests are we run the gamut on reading books from many different sources. We may read about, yoga, energy, and chakras, to books about self examination, the ego, and our inner child. This may go on for many years. This is where the problem comes in. In search of our perfect self comes a lot of self condemnation. In this process of self discovery we can lose our inner nature, to be light, happy, and forgiving, especially to ourselves. It never ceases to amaze me that even in search of a higher concept, a lower one is exposed. The harder we work at something the more difficult it seems to make it. This is what happened to me. In search of self improvement and self acceptance I began to spend a good portion of my time delving into what was needing improvement and "wrong" about myself. Instead of getting happier and more content, I became sadder and less fulfilled. Becoming spiritual and enlightened isn't about becoming perfect, it is about coming into yourself. It is about feeling and seeing your humanness and accepting it, therefore giving yourself the ability to accept it in someone else. When this happens your whole world starts to look and feel different. I got to thinking about some of the most profound times in my life. Losing my parents and going through financial struggles. I realized it was during these times that I grew the most. The reason for it was that I could really relate to others who were struggling along their path's. It doesn't have to be a life changing struggle, it can be your struggle with anger, depression, self doubt, or what ever your personal battles may be. It hit me that I can use all these things as tools to relate to others, rather than look at them as negatives to myself. I have a choice to accept myself as I am and know that all aspects exist for a reason. In this accepting comes the ability to change. Once we stop judging everything as good and bad in ourselves we can become accepting and understanding of others and what their struggles may be. Through our judgement we make decisions about what aspects are worse than others. We may think that someone being boastful, or sarcastic is somehow worse then someone who is angry or selfish. We never take the time to stop and think that they are all just aspects and that none of them are any worse than the others. We can't force or change who we are, nor should we want to, but what we can do is become more of an example of some of the other aspects we want to become. Laugh more, love more, give more. So instead of getting rid of the other aspects we don't like in ourselves we can simply add some of the ones we adore. Little by little we will embody these new aspects and the old ones will fall away.